As UFC 159 approaches, the myth that Michael Bisping has all the punching power of an atomweight suffering from muscular dystrophy continues unabated, reinforced by those who simply don’t know any better.
It’s difficult to determine whence this particularly robust fable originated, but its perpetuation is perhaps an even greater mystery.
During an interview with Ariel Helwani yesterday, Alan Belcher mocked the notion that he is in any way intimidated by Michael Bisping:
“He’s the least intimidating person in the world…He doesn’t hit hard and he wins by decision almost every single time.”
While that statement isn’t even remotely true, one can almost forgive Belcher for thinking that he has accurately summed up the Brit’s career. After all, it seems to be the popular view within the MMA community.
What’s the reality, I hear you enquire? I thought you’d never ask.
The reality is that Bisping has won 18 of his 23 MMA fights via stoppage, 14 of which were by TKO/KO.
This fact will no doubt come as a surprise to many of you. However, you may choose to rationalise your misconception by arguing that Bisping is, like Nick Diaz, simply a very effective volume-puncher.
The TUF season three winner doesn’t exactly carry the power of Shane Carwin, but nor is he the middleweight equivalent of Dominick Cruz.
Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that Bisping boasts considerable firepower. I’ll allow Chael Sonnen, a former opponent, to elaborate:
Michael Bisping hit me so hard in the first round I didn’t even know what day it was… I remember when I came to, looking at him and thinking, ‘Oh my god you have no idea how bad you hurt me or you’d step in and do something about it.’
That’s quite an endorsement of the Brit’s power when you consider that it comes from a man who, until he fought Anderson Silva for the second time, had never truly been stopped by strikes.
Dan Henderson, another former opponent of Bisping's, had the following to say about the myth that his former foe can’t bust a grape:
“Don't believe the stuff about Bisping not being able to punch. He hits hard.”
With those quotes in mind, it seems hugely unfair that “The Count” is viewed as a point fighter by the majority of the sport’s fans.
Here’s a thought. The next time some oblivious fan claims that Michael Bisping has no power or that he typically tries to win by decision, consider acquainting him with the facts.