After losing what looked to be his final fight prior to challenging champion Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping finds himself in a precarious situation. It’s safe to consider him officially out of the title hunt. Yet he’s a quality fighter capable of beating the majority of the middleweight division.
Just not the overtly heavy-handed assortment, such as Vitor Belfort.
This leaves the outspoken “Count” on a vacillating fence that flirts with the boundaries of eternal journeyman. Can the Brit rise to the occasion and decisively defeat a top-five ranked foe, or will he be relegated to the keeper of the gates, forced to tangle with the majority of surging contenders?
Only time will tell the complete story of Michael Bisping. But at 33 years old, he doesn’t have the time to worry about confidence.
It’s imperative that Bisping get back on the horse, battling tough guys. If he’s going to make one more title run, it’s got to be soon, before Father Time phones one in for Mike.
Realistically, Tim Boetsch is probably the perfect return fight for Mike. Tim’s not as mobile as Bisping, and he holds no significant advantage in any area the fight unfolds, save for perhaps resilience.
Tim isn’t likely to knock Michael out, and that bodes well for Bisping.
“The Barbarian” brings a recognizable name to the equation and a diverse enough attack to make things interesting for three rounds.
I don’t like Boetsch’s chances in this fight, but I think it’s the toughest tune-up fight that Michael Bisping can take next. He’s likely to rebound, but he’ll face a few moments of adversity, which should help get him back on track mentally.
If Bisping really wants to put the questions about his durability to rest, he can take a fight with the always dangerous Costa Philippou.
This is a high-risk, low-reward fight, as Bisping will completely plummet from top-10 rankings should he be beaten by the Serra-Longo Fight Team representative. However, he’s not going to make any leaps or bounds with a win over the surging power puncher.
This fight would really work to benefit Bisping in the sense that he can regain some belief in himself if he can find victory. A loss, however, may send him spiraling.
These two have traded a few insults in recent memory. They’re both looking at rebounding from a recent loss, they’re both considered former contenders and they’re running on a fairly close schedule.
There’s no way this fight fails to produce memorable violence, and there’s no better time to put it together.
There’s no doubt Jake Shields is itching to get back in the cage.
His last victory (over Ed Herman) was overturned and ruled a no-contest after a post-fight urinalysis showed traces of a prohibited substance, and he was dealt a six-month suspension.
A grappler by trade, Jake’s shown a willingness to engage in striking affairs. When he successfully combines the two, he’s an effective fighter capable of beating some of the world’s best.
At 185 pounds, I consider Jake Shields a relevant threat. He’s not diminishing himself in any way by shredding unnecessary pounds, and at middleweight, his wrestling looks admirable.
On an off night for Michael Bisping, Shields could be hell on two feet.
Munoz presents an interesting threat to Michael Bisping. He’s a good wrestler with big power, but his best utilization of that power comes when delivering ground-and-pound.
We’ve seen Bisping struggle to deal with heavy firepower while he’s fighting from his back in the past, and Munoz could do a little studying in order to draw up a calculated blueprint that should enhance his chances of putting the Brit in that same nasty position.
If any middleweight can knock Bisping out from the top position, it’s Mark Munoz.
The intrigue comes in wondering: Can Munoz land the proper punch to put Bisping on the floor, and if he can’t, will his wrestling be potent enough to ensure this one ends up on the canvas?
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