Michael Bisping vs. Mark Munoz Head-to-Toe Breakdown
The two top 10 middleweights are certainly in title contention, and the winner of this fight could find their name on the shortlist to get the next shot at the title.
Bisping has exchanged wins and losses in his last four bouts, and he will try to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2011. Munoz is coming off a win at UFC 162 over Tim Boetsch. A victory by either man would earn them two consecutive wins over top-10 competition.
The important tilt will be contested in Manchester, England—Bisping's hometown.
This is a head-to-toe breakdown of the two marquee middleweights.
The stand-up battle between these two middleweights is most definitely interesting.
Bisping is primarily a boxer, but he does mix in kicks from time to time. He is a versatile striker. His boxing will not strike fear in the hearts of most fighters, but his technique is exceptional. The technical striking pays off as he is a volume puncher.
Munoz, on the other hand, possesses some of the most devastating power in the division. One punch could shut Bisping's lights off. He can hold his own on the feet with most.
Munoz's power alone does not give him the edge. Bisping's technical advantage, and his versatility, is enough to edge out Munoz. He will be hesitant to exchange in close quarters. Look for Bisping to utilize more footwork in this fight.
Bisping has improved his offensive and defensive wrestling, but he is nowhere near the level of Munoz.
Munoz has proven his ability to take down most in the division, and Bisping shouldn't be any different. He'll be added to the list in this fight.
Bisping's best ability in this department is his ability to quickly rebound to his feet. He is one of the toughest fighters to hold down. He works well off his back, has good butterfly hooks and can scoot himself back up the fence to get to his feet.
The downside to that is Munoz gets the opportunity to score again and again with takedown after takedown.
This fight will hit the canvas, but don't expect either man to seek out a submission.
Munoz has one submission win in his career, and that is via punches. Bisping has four submission finishes (one by punches), and none of those occurred in the UFC's Octagon. They are not fighters who look for a submission. They look to inflict damage.
However, Bisping most likely has a small advantage.
Munoz will have better positioning due to his wrestling, and he has good submission defense. That will be good enough to negate most of Bisping's potential attempts, but his experience could trip up Munoz at some point. Bisping has more tools in his submission tool belt. A slight edge.
Bisping's X-Factor: The Moment
Bisping has been criticized in the past for wilting under the pressure of a big contender's bout. He has come up short several times throughout his career.
The fight against Munoz is scheduled to be the main event of the upcoming UFC card, and it's in his hometown. That is a lot of pressure for the contender. He will have to overcome it all to make a claim at being the rightful next challenger.
There is a lot for Bisping to overcome. He will try to erase the stigma against Munoz.
Munoz's X-Factor: Top Control
Munoz should be able to get Bisping down, but keeping him there is key.
Bisping does an excellent job of mixing up his stand-up, and as a volume puncher that can spell trouble during a five-round fight. Especially if he targets the body.
If Munoz is able to prevent Bisping from working back up to his feet quickly, the fight is his to lose.
This is a tough matchup for Bisping. Munoz's wrestling and power seem to be the perfect style to thwart him once again.
But I see Bisping finally getting over the hump.
If this were a 15-minute fight, I would lean toward Munoz, but since this is scheduled for 25 minutes I side with Bisping. His boxing will be the difference. Yushin Okami did an outstanding job against Munoz in 2010, and Bisping will study that tape.
Bisping will keep an uptempo pace, work the body and drag Munoz in to the later rounds. Munoz's cardio will become an issue. That's where Bisping takes over.
The output will drown Munoz. Eventually, it'll be too much to overcome and Bisping will wilt him in the fourth round. A stronger prediction is that if Anderson Silva defeats Chris Weidman for the title in December, Bisping will get the next title shot.
Prediction: Bisping defeats Munoz by TKO in the fourth round