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Michael Bisping could position himself for a middleweight title shot when he fights Tim Kennedy on April 16 at “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” finale.
Ahead of the bout, Bisping joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time” show with Bruce Buffer to discuss the middleweight division, TRT and more.
On losing to Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen, both of whom were on TRT: “Unfortunately for me they were No. 1 contender matchups, which I lost and I lost them fair and square. They were the rules at the time. They were allowed to manipulate the system in some ways, but they were the rules. I’m not bitching about it. I accepted those fights. I never knew that Vitor or Chael were on testosterone replacement therapy at the time, but I don’t think it would have changed anything if I did. I’ve never turned down an opponent.”
On TRT being banned: “Now that TRT is not around anymore, I think that’s a great thing. It’s great for the sport. I was never a fan in the first place. I think as you get older, you gain more experience and then if you’re too old to do it, you’ve got to hang your gloves up. Fortunately the athletic commissions and the UFC, they agree with this same notion.”
On whether he noticed a strength difference when fighting opponents on TRT: “No. To be honest, the Chael fight, there was a lot of grappling involved in that fight and no, I can’t say I ever did. To be honest, the only time I’ve ever been outmuscled in a fight was when I fought Matt Hamill. I remember thinking, Holy s--t, this guy is strong. That was the only time. So no, I can’t say that the TRT has ever been an advantage like that. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but I never really noticed it during the fight.”
On what a win over Kennedy does for him: “I think it certainly puts me right up there at the top of the list. Obviously Vitor … I’m not sure what’s going on with the Nevada commission, but I think Vitor’s out for a little while, so forget about him. Obviously Machida is fighting for the belt and then after that, who is there? I think Jacare’s got an injury as well at the moment. As I said, I’ve won seven of my last nine. I’ve been a perennial top-10 fighter ever since I was in the middleweight division. I bring a lot of excitement to the division. I think if I put on a good performance, I think I certainly deserve a title shot. It’s up to the UFC whether or not I’m worthy. I’ll certainly be pleading my case, but who knows? Maybe after Tim Kennedy, maybe one more win, but I certainly think I’m up there. … The way the situation is at the moment, Anderson Silva’s out for a while, Vitor’s out for a while, Machida’s fighting for the belt. Once [Machida and champion Chris Weidman] settle that, I think there may be a possibility for me to get my title shot.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 16:16).