Michael Bisping had to do two things well on Saturday night if he wanted to defeat Brian Stann.
The first was simply fight the way that Michael Bisping loves to fight. Land some solid combinations, throw punches straight down the pipe, mix in the occasional takedown and push the pace better than almost anyone in the middleweight division.
The second was to avoid the vicious power of Stann, especially his hand-grenade of a right hook.
For the most part, Bisping did exactly that at UFC 152.
Other than a big right hand landed by Stann near the end of the first frame, Bisping’s striking defense held up incredibly well against the power shots of Stann, and the Brit was able to outwork his opponent on the feet for the vast majority of the fight with a strong lead jab and superior footwork.
But the real key to Bisping’s victory was his improved wrestling, which “The Count” showed off repeatedly during the final two rounds.
Since dropping to middleweight over two years ago, Stann has proven to be a tough competitor to take down, with only Chael Sonnen able to muscle the “All American” to the mat.
However, Bisping showed off a slick double-leg takedown that made all of the difference in this bout, using the clinch to get his hands on a strong opponent in Stann and dragging the fight to the mat on several occasions in the final two rounds.
The ability to mix up his stand-up with the occasional takedown made Bisping a much tougher puzzle for Stann to try and solve, and “The Count’s” well-rounded game ended up being a bit too much for the former WEC light heavyweight champion.
For the most part, Michael Bisping just needed to fight to his fullest abilities to be successful against Brian Stann and once he succeeded in doing that, he had all but locked up the victory.