UFC on Fox 2 Results: Why Michael Bisping Was the Biggest Winner

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2012

Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC
Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC

UFC on Fox 2 will be remembered for producing two immediate No. 1 contenders. Both Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen were able to beat their opponents on the judges' scorecards to secure the big, lucrative fights they've been longing for.

That being said, they weren't the biggest winners of the night. Michael Bisping was.

Bisping, who hasn't always been the most liked fighter, especially in the United States, may not have earned a title shot but he did finally earn respect.

Besides Bisping's brash personality and controversial post-fight actions, the knock on him has always been that he has been coddled when it came to matchmaking and didn't win when actually challenged with top-tier opponents.

Despite losing to Chael Sonnen, Bisping took a huge step forward in shaking that reputation and proving he belongs in the conversation as a top five middleweight. The Brit was able to go the distance with Sonnen and handled Sonnen's grappling in a way very few have been able to do.

In the postfight press conference, Sonnen himself admitted that he never felt comfortable in any position when he was on the ground, and any time he created space Bisping was able to stand back up.

While Bisping masterfully stalled Sonnen's usually relentless ground and pound, he wasn't able to sustain enough offense throughout the bout to win on the cards and that's something he can work on and improve.

So while Sonnen won the fight and now claims the coveted title shot, Bisping did more for his career and standing in the division with this loss than he has with any of his previous wins in the middleweight division. Bisping went toe to toe with the No. 2 guy in his weight class and didn't blink.

In fact, many felt that he won the fight, and being on the losing end of a controversial decision could just find him being the fan favorite for once.

Even in defeat, Bisping has punched his ticket for more marquee fights against top level competition because he has shown he can compete with the best.

That has him closer to a title shot than ever before, and while Evans and Sonnen have had shots at the belt Bisping hasn't, that makes him the biggest winner of UFC on Fox 2.