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Posted on January 26, 2012 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC On FOX: Bisping Vs Sonnen
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The “pound for pound best trash talker” in MMA spent the last 10 weeks or training for a wrestler (that he once wrestled and lost too in college,) but when Mark Munoz was forced off the card Chael Sonnen received a new opponent. Michael Bisping took the fight, and it was announced that the winner will face Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Championship belt and a chance to dethrone the pound for pound king.

The UFC has been trying to engineer a title run for Michael Bisping for a while now, and I don’t mean that in a negative or that they have given him easy fights. When the UFC was developing their foothold in the U.K., it only made sense to promote their best English fighter. Getting him a shot at Silva would have been a rating bonanza, but that was before the UFC realized they could probably fill a soccer stadium in Brazil. So if he wins, the fight would take place in Brazil.

In Bisping’s last fight, it really looked like he had turned a corner in his abilities. At the beginning of the fight with Jason Miller, Miller was able to get Bisping down and rough him up a bit. However, later in the fight Bisping was stopping the take downs and exploiting Miller striking and making Miller look almost foolish. It could be that Miller was having an awful night, but I still think its a feather in his cap that he was able to stop the takedowns. Miller was able to get other top shelf ground fighters like Jake Shields down, and that is an important feet. On the feet, Bisping’s striking made  Miller’s look even worse. His footwork was spot on, his jabs were coming straight down the pipe, and physically Bisping looked to be in phenomenal shape. Bisping is going to want to sprawl and brawl with Chael Sonnen, and the longer this fight stays on the feet, the harder it will be for Sonnen to take this one.

Chael has had one glaring hole in his game, and that’s submission defense. Sonnen has eleven losses on his pro record, and eight of them have come by way of submission. Sonnen fans are quick to ignore his positive drug test, and also say Silva got lucky in the fight where Sonnen was on his way to winning the belt. It’s hard to say Silva got lucky when you remember he is a Nogueira black belt in jiu jitsu, and Sonnen has been tapping to triangle chokes since his 2003 loss to Forrest Griffin.

All that said, Sonnen is the definition of a grinder. There are some MMA fighters who will control you from the top, and aim to win on points. Sonnen won’t take chances where he might  lose position, but he will spend the entire on top marking up his opponent. That is exactly what he will be doing in this fight. Not many people set up there takedowns as well as Sonnen does with his strikes, and that will most likely be the undoing of Bisping.

In a three round fight, I have to go with Sonnen. He has more tools to beat Bisping, and his win will set up what might be the largest UFC event in history.


Middleweight bout:
Michael Bisping vs.  Chael Sonnen

Michael Bisping
83% Fights Won
41% Striking Accuracy
53% Takedown Accuracy


Reach: 76 in
Record: 22-3
UFC Record: 12-3
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: +4

Chael Sonnen
54% Fights Won
44% Striking Accuracy
63% Takedown Accuracy


Reach: 74 in
Record: 26-11-1
UFC Record: 5-4
Last 5:3-2
Streak: +1

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