Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher to Co-Headline UFC 159

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2013

Jan 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA;  UFC fighter Chael Sonnen (right) fights against Michael Bisping during UFC on Fox 2 at the United Center. Sonnen defeats Bisping.  Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Michael "The Count" Bisping and Alan "The Talent" Belcher will finally settle their ongoing feud at UFC 159, when they co-headline the night's festivities. 

The event, which recently announced a bout between Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes as well, will be titled UFC 159: Twitter Beef. 

Okay, that last part wasn't real, but with the recent addition of Bisping and Belcher, such a description is entirely believable. 

MMAjunkie.com and ESPN.com confirmed the bout, and Internet forums are bound to explode with predictions and chatter regarding this high-profile co-main event. 

Both men dropped tough contests in their most recent outings, and a title shot is no longer in either of their immediate futures. 

For his part, Bisping lost to Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7. Had he emerged victorious in that bout, he would have set up a championship bout with longtime middleweight champion and pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva

In a way, Belfort's head-kick knockout actually saved Bisping some long-term brain damage, because Silva would have absolutely wrecked him. 

But, I digress.

Belcher provides a stiff test for the outspoken British fighter, and this matchup—on paper—is awesome. 

Both guys have proficient skills wherever a fight goes, but both prefer to stand and bang. In his most recent fight against Yushin Okami, Belcher's stand-up game was nullified, and The Talent was forced to fight the majority of the fight from his back. 

Against Bisping, this almost assuredly will not be the case, and I expect a show of high-quality, technical stand-up and grappling from each fighter. 

Both 185 lb. fighters desperately need a win to stay relevant in their ever-deepening division, and the night's victor will throw himself right back into the thick of title contention. 

While I can see Bisping picking Belcher apart for the duration of this matchup en route to a unanimous decision victory, I think Belcher clips The Count early and finishes his dazed opponent with a rear-naked choke. 

Belcher, I feel, still has plenty to show, and UFC 159 will provide his first step back to the top of the middleweight division. 


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