Taking a leaf out of Chael Sonnen’s book of promotional savvy, brash Brit Michael Bisping has suggested that his UFC 152 co-main event against Brian Stann is in actuality the real headline act, and not the flyweight championship bout between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson (via MMAWeekly.com):
In my opinion, and I think in most people’s, this is the main event. This is the real main event. Two big hard hitting guys. No one cares about little flyweights, this is the real main event, this is the real big fight, tune in cause someone’s getting knocked out, ain’t going to be me though. This is the real main event of UFC 152.
Since Anderson Silva’s second-round TKO victory over Chael Sonnen, the likes of Alan Belcher, Chris Weidman and Mark Munoz—who was defeated by the latter at UFC on FUEL TV 4—have staked their claim at being the No. 1 contender to his crown.
Furthermore, erstwhile and much heralded Bellator titlist Hector Lombard was expected to be given first refusal at the 185 pound title had he won his matchup with Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 in Calgary.
As things turned out, “The Barbarian” threw a spanner in the works via split decision victory, thus leaving the middleweight title contendership in a quandary.
Still, “The Count” believes he’s paid his dues to the Zuffa-based promotion, and as such is the most deserved of the aforementioned bunch.
I’ve been around the UFC since 2005, I’ve been consistently fighting the best guys in the world, and I’ve done very, very well. I was robbed in a decision when I fought Chael (Sonnen), if I hadn’t been robbed there when I beat Brian, I’ll be on a six fight win streak, I think I deserve a shot. Whoever wins this we should get the next shot.
The Sonnen fight that Bisping alluded to was an eliminator bout for the status of No. 1 contender. Nevertheless, the match didn’t go in favor of the 33-year-old. The judges saw fit to award the unanimous decision win to the Oregonian.
That being said, some sections of the media as well as fans were of the impression the result could have gone either way.
Apropos his fight with Stann, Bisping (22-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) is convinced both combatants have the requisite skill sets to make their fight live up to expectations.
More importantly, he’s self-assured of victory.
We’re fighters, you can’t go in there thinking you’re not going to win. You’ve got to be confident, and I’m very confident. I’ve been around here a long, long time, and I’m good at what I do. Brian, he’s a fantastic fighter, but I think I’m a better fighter, and that’s what makes it a fight. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to punch you in the face as many times as possible and he’s going to do the same.