Michael “The Count” Bisping has ignited the fuse ahead of his epic encounter with Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2, by stating that he will submit Sonnen if he takes him down.
Bisping was propelled into the co-main event after Mark Munoz pulled out due to an injury sustained to his elbow.
“I'm going to get the best Chael Sonnen possible I know that," Bisping told Fighters Only. "But his jiu-jitsu won't be too slick."
“Chael Sonnen can take me down if he likes, because I know I can submit him off my back. I know I can. That's his big weakness."
Sonnen's susceptibility to submissions has been well-documented. To date, eight of Sonnen’s 11 defeats have come as a result of his inability to defend submissions.
The last time Bisping submitted an opponent was over six years ago and that was against Ross Pointon whilst competing on The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 reality series.
Thus far, "The Count" has a total of four submissions in his career (two via strikes, one arm bar and a choke).
Nonetheless, Bisping said he’s been training with some of the elite practitioners of the art and now believes he stands a great chance against Sonnen if and when the fight hits the mat.
“I may not have a black belt, but I consider myself a black belt. I've been rolling with Jake Shields, Dean Lister and a wash of other world champions. Believe me, if Chael Sonnen takes me down he better be prepared to get submitted.
“Working with these guys recently, these top level jiu-jitsu guys, has really brought on my game and I am so comfortable on my back right now. In the past I have stood fights up a lot but the way I am training right now, I will be delighted if Chael takes me down. If he does, then it will be a short night for him.”
On the other hand, Sonnen is a former NCAA Division I wrestler, a base wherein most of his strengths lie.
However, it’s also safe to say that the Oregon native is by no means a novice when it comes to submissions, having four to his name as well, including an arm triangle choke he locked in to submit Brian Stann in his most recent outing at UFC 136.
With the fight scheduled to take place in less than a fortnight, and having little time to prepare for what could be the penultimate crowning glory in his career, Bisping is exuding confidence in abundance.
Enough conviction to suggest he’s as determined as ever to book his flight to Brazil and vie for the 185 lb crown.
“Without a shadow of a doubt this is the biggest fight of my career," Bisping said. "It's going to be the most watched fight of all time, with it going live on Fox TV, and I am fighting the number one contender. This is my title fight.
“I beat this guy and I am fighting for the title. I'm going to Brazil and it's me that will be getting the big pay day. There is no doubt that I will beat this guy too. I am the better fighter. No doubt, he is a tough motherf**ker, but it's my big opportunity and I will be ready.”
UFC on Fox 2 is set for Jan. 28, 2012, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
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