On November 14 the UFC makes its way back to Manchester England. The Manchester Evening News Arena is hosting the UFC 105th Pay-Per-View telecast featuring a Triple Main Event with Randy 'The Natural' Couture making his return to the Light-Heavyweight Division to take on rising star Brandon 'The Truth' Vera. Also Mike 'Quick' Swick faces UK's own Dan Hardy to determine who's next in line to challenge for George St-Pierres’ crown and one of Britain’s favourite sporting stars Michael 'The Count' Bisping looks to get back on track as he faces the experienced young Canadian, Denis Kang.
If you were to look at this fight from the standpoint of performances inside the UFC then Michael Bisping would have to be considered the clear favourite. Bisping is 7-2 inside the UFC with notable wins over the likes of Chris Leben & Matt Hamill. Whereas Denis Kang sports a 1-1 record within the UFC with his first outing being submitted late in the Second Round by Alan Belcher, then redeeming his self by winning a Unanimous Decision victory over Xaiver Foupa-Pokam this past April.
But don't be fooled by his Octagon record, Denis Kang is a veteran of 46 fights, holds a 32-11-1-2NC overall record, was a finalist in the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix and holds notable wins over the likes of Akihiro Gono, Marvin Eastman & Murilo 'Ninja' Rua just to name a few. Let’s face it, if Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua has taught us anything it’s that you can't judge a fighter by his UFC appearances alone. Rua entered Octagon for his clash with then seemingly unstoppable Champion Lyoto 'The Dragon' Machida with a 2-1 record with his only victories being over aging veterans Mark Coleman & Chuck Liddell; leading into that fight I would've bet my left testicle that Machida would pick Shogun apart within three rounds to retain his crown and by the end of the fight I would've bet my remaining right testicle that Mauricio would have another piece of gold to add to his collection –it’s lucky for myself and my potential future children that I am not a betting man! But even in defeat Rua showed that he was a force to be reckoned with and that your record in the UFC doesn't count for everything.
Denis Kang is a better rounded fighter than Michael Bisping; he is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and has great ground game which gave him a majority of his victories in his early days. However training at American Top Team has developed great boxing skills and has the ability to stand on his feet with almost any opponent. The only knock on this otherwise rising star is his inconsistency within his MMA career.
However another thing to consider is when Michael Bisping has been in front of his home crowd in England he has yet to suffer a defeat –thirteen of his seventeen career bouts have taken place in the United Kingdom and in all of them he has come out on top.
Leading into the November 14th clash the poster boy for MMA in the UK is considered a heavy favourite; but when all of the smoke clears don't be surprised if there’s Denis Kang standing over Britain’s hero.