The UFC on Fox 2 event scheduled for January 28th in Chicago, Illinois has replaced the injured Mark Munoz with Michael ‘the Count’ Bisping in one of the co-main events against Chael Sonnen. Munoz was impressive in his last outing when he took out Chris Leben, but putting in Bisping should add a little heat to the fight. Munoz has shown a low key persona thus far, and he has not engaged in the trash talking with Sonnen. Sonnen has not gotten going with Munoz as the target, but that is all likely to change with Bisping. Bisping is coming off a big win post ‘TUF’ season 14 against Jason Miller, and has won four in a row, and he is not shy about running his mouth off either.
Bisping is the most famous MMA fighter in his home of the United Kingdom, but he is known more as a bad guy to the American audiences. They are very familiar with him, as he fought his way into the UFC by winning the ‘TUF’ reality series and has spent two seasons on the show as a coach. His first coaching appearance saw him playing the bad guy to Dan Henderson, who KO’d him when they met at the end of that season. Bisping then returned to coach against Jason Miller, whom he defeated impressively when they met. He was mouthy after the win, and certainly seemed content to play the bad guy.
The audience watching FOX is probably going to want to see Bisping get shut up again, and I think that is exactly what is going to happen in this fight.
Bisping is a solid fighter, and he seems to have some of the intangibles that you look for in a ‘winner’. It is certainly hard to argue with his winning percentage of 88 or his 22-3 overall record, with the three losses coming to Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva, two of whom are lock Hall of Fame types.
I have a feeling that Sonnen is going to be too tough for Bisping. Sonnen’s strength is Bisping’s weakness, and Sonnen is going to be able to control where the fight takes place. Sonnen is not the most polished striker, but he hits hard and his ground and pound is a fight ender. He only has to control and rough Bisping up three rounds and he is capable of doing that in spades.
Bisping is a good boxer by MMA standards, but he is going to have to KO Sonnen – he can’t really expect to win the fight standing, because if he is aggressive and if he can score points on Sonnen standing, it will be Sonnen who takes it to the ground. Bisping is not going to be able to hold of Sonnen’s takedowns.
In fact, Sonnen’s worst enemy here might be himself. He has had issues with the state medical exams, earning a suspension. Let’s hope he is able to pass the tests post fight. I see that as more of a risk than anything Bisping presents to Sonnen.