UFC 152: Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann Head-to-Toe Breakdown
Michael Bisping feels he deserved a shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva. That chance was taken from him in a controversial decision loss to Chael Sonnen in January. Now, Bisping remains one of the top middleweight contenders, but he'll have to defeat Brian Stann decisively at UFC 152 to retain that standing.
Stann has won four out of five fights since moving to the middleweight division. While he's still in search of a win over a Top 5 middleweight, the U.S. Marine's intriguing back story honestly puts him within one punch of a title shot when he meets opponents like Bisping.
With Anderson Silva seemingly interested in fighting at any weight except 185 pounds, this middleweight bout will be important in clearing up the currently muddled middleweight title picture. Let's take a look at whether Bisping or Stann has a better chance of walking away from Saturday's fight with a win.
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Michael Bisping's takedown defense cost him a title shot in a loss against Chael Sonnen, but that does not mean the British fighter has poor grappling ability. On the contrary, Bisping is excellent at bouncing back to his feet after being taken to the ground and he has even scored takedowns of his own against the likes of Sonnen and Rashad Evans.
With two of his four career losses coming by way of submission, there's little chance Stann will even attempt to test Bisping's takedown defense. If anyone is going to try to take this fight to the ground, it will be Bisping in an effort to exploit an area where he may have an even greater advantage over Stann than in the striking department.
Stann has been taken down multiple times in every UFC loss he has suffered. That is something Bisping should look to exploit if he feels pressured on his feet.
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Somehow, Michael Bisping is still searching for the first submission win of his UFC career, despite showing signs of having some really solid jiu-jitsu. Against Brian Stann, who has been submitted in two of his four career losses, Bisping may finally force a UFC opponent to tap.
Having never been submitted, Bisping probably won't have to worry too much about Stann locking up a submission. Stann has only one submission win in his 16-fight career, so he'll be focused more on getting back to his feet than attacking with his guard if he finds himself on his back at any point in this fight.
If Bisping can take Stann to the ground, he'll steal rounds at worst, and he'll take one step closer to his first middleweight title shot by locking up a submission, at best.
Michael Bisping may have more Octagon experience than Brian Stann, but that's not something that's going to have an impact on the outcome of this fight. During his time as a U.S. Marine, Stann faced far more pressure than he ever could in an MMA fight, so he won't be affected by the magnitude of this bout.
Both fighters have excellent conditioning, with Bisping perhaps having a slight edge in that category. However, Stann would counter that with power that may be unmatched in the middleweight division.
Ultimately, this fight won't be decided by experience, conditioning or the like. The more technical and athletic fighter will win this fight.
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Standing, Michael Bisping uses kicks and jabs to out-land Brian Stann for three rounds. On the ground, Bisping controls his opponent or possibly makes a statement with a submission win. This is the Englishman's fight to lose.
It's hard to see Stann beating Bisping over the course of a three-round fight, so expect him to swing for the knockout early. With that being said, an early takedown by Bisping could be all the British middleweight needs to take control of this fight.
If Bisping can force Stann to work off of his back early and keep him there through most of the opening round, he might tire his muscular opponent and take away some of the American's explosiveness. If he can't submit Stann in the first frame, this would at least make things easier for Bisping on his feet, en route to a decision win.
Bisping defeats Stann by decision.