"I can't lie; I thought I won rounds one and two," Bisping said at the post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com). "I think in this modern day of social networking and stuff, you just have to look at the Internet, and I think the general consensus was I won the fight."
Though many felt he did win the first two rounds, the judges scorecards were all in favor of Sonnen, with 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27 being read off for the new number one contender in the middleweight division. Though it was close, and Bisping didn't feel robbed by the decision, he did take umbrage with that final score.
"There's no way that fight was 30-27, and the judge who scored that needs to reconsider his job options," Bisping said.
Though he fared well, Bisping did not get himself into a title fight with Anderson Silva, but his performance suggests he may still work his way back to getting that opportunity. Not only does he believe he'll get himself that shot, he believes he'll capture the belt when he does.
"Yeah, I'm going nowhere," Bisping said. "I've been doing this for a long, long time, and I intend to do it a lot longer. It was a close fight, a good fight. I could have won that; I could have stopped it.
"But this isn't the last you'll see me, and I will be fighting for a title, and I will bloody win it."
Penick's Analysis: In the arena live I scored the fight a draw, with a 10-10 first round, Bisping taking the second, and Sonnen taking the third. The first round was really close, with Sonnen technically landing more strikes, but Bisping handing out damage in a strong final two minutes to even things up. It was close enough to have gone either way, and it may have played out differently on television, but regardless, Bisping showed he can hang in there with top competition. With the middleweight landscape not featuring many challengers that Anderson Silva hasn't already defeated, Bisping may truly only need one or two more wins to set himself up for a shot at the belt.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]