Six years and seventeen fights ago seems like a long time. Especially when you’ve gone through the bumps in the road that Michael Bisping has. Bisping, unlike many others, come rain or shine still kept plugging away.
Last Saturday, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Canada, in his unanimous decision victory over Brian Stann at UFC 152, Bisping showed a vast improvement in his skills that could potentially put him in a long awaited title fight with UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva. His wrestling, take downs, and ability showed a much needed preferment to place himself not only in title contention, but to place himself on a bar to be called “title shot worthy.”
Stann was pressing the action early and seemed to have been looking for a couple of big right hands. When I say early, I mean he threw them within 30 seconds of the beginning of the bout. Bisping’s head movement and circling to Stann’s left (away from Stann’s power hand) was definitely the key to avoid a first round knockout. Clinching was favorable to Bisping as he was able to land knees to the legs and body of Stann.
After surviving the former Marine Silver Star recipient’s first round onslaught, Bisping found his rhythm in Round 2 and 3. Bisping scored in the clinch, take downs, and nice clean jabs with straight left and right combo’s that had Stann’s head snapping backwards leaving gashes under both eyes. Bisping took the unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28 in his favor.
“Me and Joe Silva were talking earlier tonight and I said ‘A fight with Bisping and Anderson is an interesting fight.” said UFC President Dana White at the UFC 152 Post Fight Press Conference. Dana went onto say, “Bisping doesn’t get enough credit that he deserves because people like to ‘boo’ him and everything else, but you saw him tonight, when that guy walked into the arena here in Canada, he got a good round of applause.”
It doesn’t matter what “The Count” has done in his fights, the truth of it is this…..when he’s in the octagon, three Fight of the Night performances tells you he’s always in a fight!! “Bisping always brings it, always fights hard, well rounded, talented…” the UFC President continued with his flury of compliments aroused by Bisping’s UFC 152 performance. The compliments were well warranted. Improved take downs (slams more like), great top side control, excellent head movement, and utilization of something such, uh, well, you know…a simple 2, 1 jab combination all were tools that were brilliantly on hand for the TUF 3 winner.
“I implemented my game plan well. A part from the fight, I didn’t stop him. I was faster to the punch. I was the better striker, the better wrestler. I felt stronger. It was a good victory.” Bisping said in a post fight interview with MMAFighting.com reporter, Ariel Helwani.
Bisping was on a 4 fight win streak before losing to Chael Sonnen at the UFC on Fox card, January earlier this year. A fight that many, including Chael Sonnen himself, felt that Bisping won. It was even then, on lookers noticed the improvement in Bisping’s game.
No one walking this planet may really be ready for the long time reigning Champ, Anderson Silva. Seriously, who is? Who has been? No one. They’ve only been as ready as they can be….or could be. However, if there ever was a time to say that Michael Bisping is as ready as he could be for the 10 time defending UFC Middleweight champ…..the time is now.