UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has said that Chris Weidman should be next in line for a title shot.
Bisping, who defeated Luke Rockhold to become the first-ever British UFC champion at UFC 199 in June, will put his title on the line against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 on Saturday.
Should he emerge victorious in his hometown of Manchester, Bisping wants his next title defence to come against Weidman, who was supposed to face Rockhold at UFC 199, but had to pull out due to a neck injury that required him to undergo surgery.
"I would like Chris Weidman simply because, listen, for all the back and forth and the s— talking and because for all of that, I respect Chris Weidman," Bisping said on The MMA Hour. "I like Chris Weidman and what he does. He's got a little bit of a case of sour grapes and this and that, he's talking a lot s— about me, but, you know, I respect this guy, the way carries himself and this and that, you know, he's a likable guy. But he's talking shit, so I'd like to fight him."
Rockhold will face Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza at UFC Fight Night 101, while Weidman is set to take on Yoel Romero at UFC 205 in New York on November 12. The outcome of those fights will determine the next title contender.
Despite this, Bisping made it clear that Romero doesn’t deserve a title shot as he was suspended for six months in April after testing positive for a banned substance.
"I'll tell you who I don't think deserves it — Yoel Romero," Bisping said. "I don't think he deserves it. There's no smoke without fire. He got a reduced sentence, but the fact is, he still got a sentence. Even if you take performance enhancing drugs, the benefits of those stay in your system for a long, long time. So I don't think Yoel Romero deserves it."
Bisping said he will concentrate on his title fight with Henderson for now. If he comes out on top, the 37-year-old will then sit back and wait to see who his next opponent will be.
"I beat Luke Rockhold, I knocked him out. Yoel Romero I have no interest, Jacare is another guy, he's nice as well. They're all worthy, they're all very, very good, but of course Yoel is coming off a ban for performance enhancing drugs," he said. "But other than that, you know who I think wins? I think Weidman beats Romero and I think Jacare beats Rockhold."