Over the last few years, Michael Bisping has been called one of the most overrated fighters in the world pretty frequently.
Fans have been left wondering why Bisping has cracked the top five of most middleweight rankings without beating a legitimate top ten opponent, and his detractors are quick to point out that Bisping’s only UFC losses have come against well known opponents with a lot on the line.
Still, despite his lack of high profile wins Bisping has remained in the UFC’s middleweight title picture for the majority of his career at 185, and this weekend he will finally earn the victory he’s needed to become a possible contender for Anderson Silva’s belt.
Brian Stann is a dangerous opponent for almost anyone in the middleweight division, and his punching power is going to force Bisping to fight to the best of his abilities this weekend. But ultimately Stann remains a one-dimensional striker that 'The Count' should be able to defeat.
If there’s been one legitimate knock on Bisping it’s been his somewhat susceptible chin, as he’s been rocked by solid right hands landed by everyone from Yoshihiro Akiyama to Jorge Rivera.
However, only Dan Henderson has packed the punching power to put Bisping away, and while Stann may possess the same one punch knockout ability as Hendo, he isn’t nearly as good as forcing the fight to take place on his terms.
While Henderson thrives at taking the fight to his opponent and has little concern about being taken down due to his superior wrestling game, Stann has a lot more trouble when the fight hits the mat and he can’t afford to completely let his hands go if he wants to remain upright against Bisping.
Bisping is likely going to want to strike in this fight—as he does in nearly every fight he’s in—but if Stann gets reckless with his strikes the opportunity is going to be there for Bisping to either get the fight to the ground or attempt to land a counter shot of his own.
Both on the mat and on the feet, Bisping is going to have an advantage in this fight and as long as he is able to keep Stann uncomfortable in the stand up department by mixing up his game this fight won’t even make it the distance.
Expect Bisping to win the first round with a combination of outworking Stann both on the feet and the mat; before finding his range in the second round and opening up with his punches.
Stann always has the threat of a knockout in his pocket, but Bisping will be able to avoid the big shot and eventually score a TKO stoppage of his own.
Chael Sonnen admitted that Bisping hits incredibly hard, and over his last few fights 'The Count' has gotten much better at generating power behind his punches.
That hard work will pay off this weekend—in a big way.