Michael Bisping went from thinking about Demian Maia to planning his attack for Chael Sonnen in just a matter of seconds. The brash Brit will replace Mark Munoz and take on Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2 with the winner receiving a shot at UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
Bisping has pushed for a meeting with Sonnen in the past but the two just haven’t been able to lock up. Now they get their chance and the likely upcoming trash talk between them could be legendary.
For Bisping, however, this is a chance to prove his worth to the MMA world as a victory over Sonnen would be the biggest of his career and place him in line to become the first Englishman to hold a UFC title.
“Dana (White) hadn’t even finished saying Munoz was out before I was planning how to beat Sonnen in my head,” wrote Bisping in a blog entry for FOXSports. “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, (UFC 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.” ”
Bisping knows it will take a much different approach to defeat Sonnen than the one he was formulating for his original opponent, Maia, as Sonnen is more of a power wrestler compared to Maia’s submission and ground skills.
“Next week, I’m ready to go all guns blazing,” Bisping added. “The worst thing that is going to happen is that he will outpoint and, if I don’t beat him, I didn’t deserve a title shot against Anderson Silva anyway.”
UFC on FOX 2 takes place January 28 from Chicago, Illinois’ United Center and is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between top contenders Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.
MMA Training Take: The fireworks will reach a very high level here in the next week-and-a-half, as both Sonnen and Bisping do not mind taking the gloves off and getting dirty to promote a fight. Inside the Octagon, this should be an interesting match-up, as Bisping has had trouble with strong wrestlers in the past. Of course, it is hard to ever count “The Count” out of any fight.