Michael Bisping stunned the world when he knocked out Luke Rockhold to capture the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 199 in June.
The British-born fighter had been on the cusp on a couple occasions of getting a title shot but would come up short. He lost to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in 2009, Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 in 2012, Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 in 2013.
Those three losses all have a common theme. Each fighter had a TRT exemption at the time of those fights (testosterone replacement therapy) and in the cases of Belfort and Sonnen, they failed drug tests for performance-enhancing drugs.
It is a new-age now in the UFC. They partnered up with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) last year to combat PED usage. It has worked thus far as fighters like Brock Lesnar, Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida have all failed drug tests administered by USADA.
The 37-year-old feels it isn't a coincidence that since USADA came on board more fighters are failing drug tests and he become a world champion.
"Now that USADA is clamping down on performance enhancers, people are getting popped left and right," Bisping wrote in an article at Champions.co. "They still have a long way to go, but people are getting caught, and that’s what counts. It’s funny, now that we have USADA in the mix, I’ve become world champion!
"I’ve been here all this time, and yes, I have improved, and my coaches have worked hard with me to get me where I am, but USADA’s presence and my becoming world champion isn’t such a crazy coincidence. I think there’s a reason for that."
Bisping makes his first title defense at UFC 204 on Oct. 8 in his hometown of Manchester in a rematch against Henderson.