If you’re one of the many MMA fans wondering why Michael Bisping would risk his four-fight winning streak and spot on the contendership ladder by taking on an opponent with Chael Sonnen’s skill-set “The Count” has an answer for you – he had no other choice. No, his hand was not forced by his bosses at the UFC but rather by a sense of self-belief and appreciation for the opportunity he was given.
Bisping addressed the situation in a blog for FoxSports on Tuesday evening where he acknowledged the significant challenge in front of him with less than two weeks’ notice to prepare but also explained it’s a test he’s more than willing to take given the stakes.
“Dana (White) hadn’t even finished saying Munoz was out before I was planning how to beat Sonnen in my head,” wrote the 32-year old Brit. “I’ve accepted fights on short notice for the UFC throughout my career, but this one is a massive, massive chance for me, and I am very grateful to Dana, (matchmaker) Joe Silva, and the UFC. I was already hugely grateful to be asked to fight on FOX, but to fight Chael on FOX … well, there are hundreds of fighters who would kill for this opportunity, and I would have had to be a fool to turn it down.”
The 22-3 Bisping made it clear he has no illusions about Sonnen’s talent in terms of takedowns and top control but has little concern for the 26-11-1 grappler’s abilities beyond those aspects of his game.
“Next week, I’m ready to go all guns blazing. A fight is a fight, and at this level anything can happen, but all things being equal, Chael Sonnen cannot knock me out. He can’t submit me, either,” Bisping began before bottom-lining the situation by adding, “The worst that is going to happen is that he will outpoint me and, if I don’t beat him, I didn’t deserve a title-shot against Anderson Silva anyway.”
Fans can catch Bisping-Sonnen scrap next weekend at UFC on FOX 2 at an event headlined by Rashad Evans meeting Phil Davis with a future date against 205-pound champion Jon Jones up for grabs. Bisping’s original opponent, Demian Maia, will now face unbeaten All-American wrestler Chris Weidman in his place.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC