In the most important non-title fight at UFC 152 on Saturday night in Toronto, it was Michael Bisping prevailing over Brian Stann in a middleweight clash.
Bisping has long been a fixture in the middleweight championship picture, even though he has never actually gotten a shot at the title. He has come close on a number of occasions, but his personality and untimely losses have done him in.
In his first fight since losing to Chael Sonnen at the UFC on Fox show in January, Bisping was able to get the upper hand and knock off one of the rising stars in the division at one of the most high-profile events of the year.
Stann is an interesting fighter to try to figure out. He obviously has a great story that is so easily marketable you want to see him succeed just so he can get the recognition he deserves.
But Stann can't seem to get over that hurdle. In a lot of ways, his career arc mirrors that of Bisping's. He is not as accomplished in the Octagon as Bisping, but he has a lot of big wins and could be a contender with a little luck here and there.
Instead, Stann will have time to figure out what happened. His biggest problem—generally speaking—is a lack of diversity in his style. He only looks real comfortable when he is able to stand and trade punches. If you take him to the ground, as Sonnen proved at UFC 136, he can be had.
UFC has a lot of big decisions to make with both Bisping and Stann after this fight. For Bisping, you could see a scenario where he gets put in another No. 1 contender fight, either before the end of the year or early in 2013.
Stann has to go back to the drawing board to see if he has enough in his arsenal to take the next step and get past fighters with really good ground games.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!