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UFC 152 preview: Michael Bisping eyes title shot with win over Brian Stann

Michael Bisping(left) will face Brian Stann at UFC 152

The UFC 152 event on Saturday night will feature a middleweight matchup between Michael Bisping and Brian Stann in what will be a fight with potential title implications. Let’s get right into and break this one down.

Brian Stann (12-4) comes into this fight off the KO win over Alessio Sakara back in April. It was a nice rebound win after being submitted by Chael Sonnen at UFC 136. Stann is primarily a striker with big power in his hands, and does have decent takedown defense. He has two losses via submission, and has been knocked out once early in his career.

Michael Bisping (22-4) comes into this fight off the razor close split decision loss to Chael Sonnen at the UFC on FOX 2 event in January. Bisping had won four consecutive fights leading up to the fight with Sonnen. He has won 14 fights via TKO and has four submission wins to his credit. He has only been stopped once, the highlight reel knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100. He’s a very underrated fighter and is fairly well rounded. The only knock on him is that he lacks any real power in his strikes.

Michael Bisping is the betting favorite going in this fight and I think that’s the right call.

This fight should be an exciting striking war with some wrestling sprinkled here and there depending on if Bisping wants to take advantage of Stann’s lack of being very good on the ground. There are two x-factors in this fight:

  • Brian Stann’s power
  • Technical striking of Bisping

There’s an old adage in boxing that says you box a brawler and brawl a boxer. Stann is the brawler in this case with Bisping being the boxer. So in this case it’ll be all about which fighter can impose their will and force his opponent to fight his fight. I think Bisping has the edge there. He has more experience and has fought guys that are pretty much carbon copies of Brian Stann (i.e. Dan Henderson, Chris Leben, Wanderlei Silva). However, I would say that Stann is probably more technical striking than all of those guys while having actual combinations instead of just flurrying or swinging wildly.

I expect Bisping to use a lot of movement which will force Stann to keep resetting, and obviously make Bisping a harder target to hit. Stann doesn’t move as well and will eat a few punches just to get his punches off which has worked for him in the past. However, I don’t think that’s a smart strategy in this fight. Bisping lacks big power, but he does throw a high volume of strikes that accumulate over time. Bisping is the better wrestler and has been successful on over half of his takedown attempts with Stann defending 62% of the takedown attempts against him according to Fightmetric.

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Stann knocked Bisping out. However, I think Bisping wins this fight about 75% of the time, so I say he takes it here via decision or he could submit Stann if he’s able to take him down.

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