The UFC on FOX 2 event got an upgrade due to an injury to a fighter. I know, it normally works in reverse when those types of things happen right? However, I think a middleweight fight between two charismatic fighters like Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping is something most fans really wanted to see. This is a huge fight because the winner will be set to receive a title shot against the current champion Anderson Silva later this year, most likely in Brazil. Let’s see how this fight shakes out.
Michael Bisping comes into this fight with a career record of (22-3) with 14 wins via TKO/KO and four wins via submission. Bisping was last seen in action battering a gassed out Jason “Mayhem’ Miller back in December at the TUF 14 Finale. Bisping has won four fights in a row since losing a close decision to Wanderlei Silva back at UFC 110. Bisping is an underrated fighter with great cardio, good striking, and a very active guard on the ground. The knock on Bisping is that he lacks power in his strikes and often wins fights due to his superior cardio, and the ability to through high volumes of strikes that overwhelm his opponents over time.
Chael Sonnen comes into this fight with a career record of (26-11-1) with seven wins via TKO/KO and three wins via technical submission. Sonne was last seen in action at UFC 136 defeating Brian Stann via arm triangle choke in the second round. Sonnen has won four out of his last five fights with the lone loss coming against Anderson Silva at UFC 117. It was a fight in which Sonnen was winning handedly before being forced to submit due to a triangle/armbar in the fifth and final round. Sonnen is a world class wrestler that’s absolutely relentless as well as powerful. He has very underrated striking skills coupled with the ability to fight at a very high pace. The knock on Sonnen is his propensity to fall into submissions. In fact, eight of his 11 losses are via submission with two of them against journeyman Jeremy Horn.
Sonnen is the favorite at (-455) and Bisping is the underdog at (+355).
I have to agree with those odds. Realistically, Bisping will not be able to knock Sonnen out and will not be able to stop Sonnen from taking him down. Bisping’s only realistic chance at winning is via submission. While Bisping does have an active guard, Sonnen would have to absolutely give him the submission to win. It’s something that Sonnen has done in the past though.
I think most people believe that Bisping is the better striker, but I don’t buy that at all. Sonnen is very capable on his feet, just look at his fight against Anderson Silva as he dropped Silva a couple of times with strikes. Sonnen could strike with Bisping and hold his own, but his easiest path to victory is taking Bisping down and pounding him out. Bisping has decent takedown defense, but he wont be able to stop Sonnen’s takedowns. He does have an active guard as I mentioned previously, so it’ll be interesting to see how much damage Sonnen will be able to inflict. The other question is will Sonnen be able to get back to his feet after getting taken down? Bisping will have to constantly work to set up submissions from his back as Sonnen is liable to make a mistake on the ground and become vulnerable to a submission as he’s done in the past.
The thing is Bisping has exactly zero wins via submission in the UFC.
I think Sonnen comes out and makes a statement in this fight. Let me be clear in that Bisping is a very underrated fighter and probably doesn’t get the props he deserves for what he has accomplished. However, this is simply a bad style matchup for him against Sonnen. Sonnen fought a similar opponent in his last matchup in Brian Stann. Stann has KO power, he’s bigger and stronger than Bisping but had nothing for what Sonnen brought to the table that night.
I like Sonnen via unanimous decision or TKO late in the fight. The only question is what will he say in his post-fight interview in regards to him getting a rematch with Anderson Silva.