UFC

Chris Weidman shocked at the run of opponents Michael Bisping has faced as champion

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 23: Chris Weidman reacts to his victory over Vitor Belfort of Brazil in their UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 187 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 23: Chris Weidman reacts to his victory over Vitor Belfort of Brazil in their UFC middleweight championship bout during the UFC 187 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

For the second consecutive fight as champion, Michael Bisping will face a contender from well outside the top five rankings in the middleweight division.

Bisping dispatched rival Dan Henderson in his first title defense last October as he looked to avenge the worst defeat of his career suffered at UFC 100 several years ago. Now Bisping will face former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre with the title on the line rather than taking on top-ranked challenger Yoel Romero.

Now, none of this is Bisping's fault given the UFC ultimately controls the matchmaking, but former champion Chris Weidman feels like the brash Brit is certainly lucking out with the fights he's been receiving since winning the belt last year.

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"Listen, Bisping's got the golden horseshoe up his ass as champion," Weidman told FOX Sports on Tuesday. "This guy, I gave him the opportunity to fight for the belt and he made the most of it. He pulled the punch out and knocked out [Luke] Rockhold and became champion and since then he's fought the No. 14 ranked guy and then a guy that's on a three-year long layoff.

"This one he's going to make some good money on, so God bless him and his family but man, look at the guys I was fighting when I was champion."

Weidman won the middleweight title by defeating arguably the greatest champion in UFC history, Anderson Silva, and then facing him in an immediate rematch a few months later.

He would go on to defend the title on two occasions before falling to Luke Rockhold at the end of 2015.

"I went through the top of the top," Weidman said. "I went against Anderson Silva twice, who at that point was debatably still in the prime of his career, had never lost [in the UFC]. The fight before me he beat the crap out of Stephan Bonnar. He didn't look like he was slowing down at all. I beat him twice.

"Then I get Lyoto Machida, who was on a big winning streak and was the light heavyweight champ and everybody thought was going to be the middleweight champ. He looked unbeatable at middleweight. Then Vitor Belfort, who was on a four-fight winning streak, all knockouts. Then I had Rockhold. Then, this is some set up he's got going on as the belt holder."

Weidman believes the fight between Bisping and St-Pierre ultimately came together because the Canadian superstar made the call when he finally reached terms on a new deal to return to the UFC.

St-Pierre was one of the biggest draws in the sport during his previous run with the promotion and his return will likely pull in some very large numbers against whoever he faces first.

Weidman sees Bisping as the easiest target amongst the champion currently competing in weight classes where St-Pierre would fight so it makes sense that he would return with the middleweight title on the line.

"As much as it sucks being a middleweight in the middleweight division, watching the division get tied up like this with GSP coming in, I think Bisping's an easier fight than [Tyron] Woodley would be or [Stephen] Thompson would have been," Weidman said. "I just think less dangerous. There's more danger in fighting those guys than fighting Michael Bisping, which is crazy.

"Even going down to 155, it might be more dangerous to fight the 155-pound champ [Conor McGregor] than the middleweight champ. I think he's picking the easiest fight, at the highest weight surprisingly, but it's the easiest fight and it's going to be a big money fight. I think GSP is making the right play."

Of course, there's no love lost between Weidman and Bisping, who have exchanged words several times over the past few years while both competing as champion and challenger in the same division.

As much as it sounds like Weidman is once again taking shots at Bisping, he can't really blame the 38-year-old veteran for grabbing onto as much money and opportunity that could be afforded to him while he's still champion.

"Good for him. I'm really not hating on him. It really is an amazing story. A Cinderella story what this guy did for his career," Weidman said. "I wasn't in the UFC too long but I surpassed him and became champion and he was in the UFC way longer than me and the same weight and had never fought for the title and I never thought of him as a guy who would be fighting for the title. He proved me wrong, he proved everybody else wrong. So good for him. It's an awesome story.

"He had loss after loss, would win a couple and lose and win a couple and lose and the next thing you know this guy's fighting for the title. It makes it all worth it. Good for him. He's going to make some money for his family. I will say I don't think he's going to be champion very long. He's already champion longer than I thought."