UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping has put pen to paper on a new eight-fight deal with the promotion.

The UK fighter still had three fights left on his current contract which already saw him commanding an impressive $150,000 fight purse with the inclusion of a further $175,000 win bonus.

While he’s yet to fight for a title Bisping has played an important role for the UFC over the years. In the UK he’s revered which has enabled him to headline events in the region, while overseas he is seen as one of the promotion’s biggest ‘villains’ due to his outspoken personality which has consistently made him one of the most talked about fighters in the middleweight division.

Bisping rose to prominence after winning The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 back in 2006 and has gone on to star as a coach on two further seasons including the forthcoming TUF 14 which begins airing in September. He’s also racked up an 11-3 record inside the Octagon, with notable victories coming against the likes of Chris Leben, Matt Hamill, Denis Kang and Yoshihiro Akiyama.

It makes sense for the UFC to lock the 32 year-old back into a long-term deal as there’s currently a number of interesting fights awaiting the Brit, starting with the end of season TUF fight with Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller which will mark the start of his new deal.

Beyond that Bisping has on-going feuds with the likes of Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, while others like Brian Stann and Alan Belcher have voiced their interest in fighting him in the future.

Current champion Anderson Silva has also welcomed a possible fight with ‘The Count’, and given his current three-fight winning streak, if he can rack up a couple of wins against high profile opposition then that’s a bout that could happen.