When Michael Bisping squares off against Vitor Belfort in the main event of the UFC on FX 7 tomorrow night, a victory for Bisping would more than likely put him next in line to face Anderson Silva. And that’s exactly what the real multi-divisional champion, Chael Sonnen, sees happening.
“It comes down to this, I know I would beat the hell out of Vitor Belfort, and Bisping gave me one of the hardest fights on my life. So it follows Bisping will beat Belfort.”
“Vitor should come out like he always does, trying to end the fight right away. He can do that. He can finish Bisping early. There’s no point in trying to save his energy for the later rounds because, no matter how hard he’s trained for this fight, Bisping will always have more in the tank from the second round. Belfort should just do what he does, go for the win in the first three minutes.”
“If Bisping gets to the third round, Vitor is in for a very painful experience. Bisping just doesn’t get tired. Believe me, I know. And this is a five-round fight. Bisping can win this in the third or fourth round.”
It’s the standard logic of this fight – if Bisping can survive the terrifying opening blitz of Belfort, he should win in the later rounds. But you got to love Sonnen’s methodology. Because Bisping gave him a tough fight, and he would destroy Belfort, then A+B=C. It’s that black and white, perfect world scenario, along with an astronomical sense of self-delusion that defines Chael Sonnen.
That aside, I happen to agree with Chael here. I think Bisping is good enough, and durable enough to survive early. However, he is prone to getting rocked in his fights. Brian Stann, Jorge Rivera, shit even the world’s worst striker, Jason Miller managed to touch Bisping’s chin. But getting blasted by Vitor is a whole other story. There is no recovery. He descends on you with a plethora of shots to the back of the head that would fell any man or beast. So Bisping is going to have to be careful, use a lot of movement, and drag Vitor into the deep end of the pool where he’s a notoriously crappy swimmer.
Then after Bisping dispatches Vitor, he’ll do the same to Anderson Silva, according to Sonnen.
“I really want to see Bisping win this fight and get his title shot. He deserves it. It is long overdue. Bisping has a big heart, he always comes to fight hard, he never backs down and he never quits. I know he can beat Anderson Silva and be the middleweight champion. There’s no question in my mind Bisping can beat Anderson.”
This is where I must part ways with Chael. Bisping is a very solid fighter, but he’s not particularly great at anything. His wrestling is good enough to maybe put Silva down a time or two, but if Sonnen struggled to get Silva down in round two of their last fight, so will Bisping. And, Silva showed that he’s not above blatantly grabbing a mother fucker’s shorts without regard to rules or fair play to avoid being put on his back. In the striking department, it’s not even close. Yeah Bisping can move well, and counter well, but Silva knocks bitches out with jabs. JABS for Christ’s sake. And Bisping lacks KO power, what with having little girl hands and all.
Ultimately, if Bisping can get by Belfort, he’s certainly worthy of his title shot. It just sucks for him that he’s in a division where the champion is a Skynet engineered terminator.
(pic via MMA Fighting’s Esther Lin)