England’s Michael Bisping has already had a very long career. Where many fighters start dropping off by the juncture he’s at, however, he’s just hitting his stride. In fact, 2016 was probably the best year of his career thus far.
It began with a back-and-forth war with middleweight legend Anderson Silva, who he defeated with a hard-fought decision win. Next, Bisping stepped up on short notice to snuff Luke Rockhold, who he’d lost to less than two years earlier. With this knockout win, Bisping defied the odds to become the UFC middleweight champion. Finally and most recently, Bisping capped off his incredible 2016 with a tooth-and-nail decision defeat of Dan Henderson, who handed him the most decisive loss of his career back in 2009.
Needless to say, it’s been one hell of a year for the Brit.
According to welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who is currently enjoying a career-best win of his own, Bisping is a shoo-in for Fighter of the Year honors. The welterweight king made this claim on the latest episode of Bisping’s podcast, The Countdown.
“Michael Bisping is a good fighter,” Woodley said. “He’s been around for a very long time. He’s got 20 victories within the UFC. And I told him this when we did our satellite deal at Madison Square Garden, I think he should be fighter of the year!”
“Some people are going to give me hell for that, but I just think no matter where you sit, he ranks in the top-5 middleweights, and he’s avenged two losses [in 2016] – two losses when he was stopped in both fights. Sometimes people carry that in their mind. They have big brother syndrome. He avenged both those losses, knocking out Rockhold, and beating Anderson Silva all in one year. I don’t think you can really argue he’s the fighter of the year.”
Woodley makes a strong argument for Bisping being Fighter of the Year, and many fans are likely to agree with him. Upcoming bantamweight title challenger Cody Garbrandt, however, is of a very different opinion.
Who do you think should be named 2016’s Fighter of the Year? Sound off, PENN Nation!