UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort includes a key Middleweight fight as Michael Bisping (22-4 MMA; 12-4 UFC) faces Brian Stann (12-4 MMA; 6-3 UFC). This is the third fight on the UFC 152 PPV. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Bisping as the #6 Middleweight in the world, and Stann a few spots below him at #10. The UFC 152 PPV airs live Saturday night September 22 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
With Anderson Silva having vanquished Chael Sonnen this summer, and now getting ready to kill some time against Stephan Bonnar, the UFC Middleweight title picture has become very interesting. The winner of this fight will join the likes of Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch as possible contenders. Add in wild cards like Alan Belcher and you have a fascinating group of contenders. The winner here could very easily break out of that pack and become the next title challenger, particularly if he wins impressively.
How do these two stack up?
Bisping: 33 years old | 6'2" | 76" reach
Stann: 31 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Michael "The Count" Bisping has been a fixture of the UFC's upper ranks ever since he won The Ultimate Fighter season 3 as a Light Heavyweight. Since his drop down to Middleweight, he's come close to challenging for the title, but always come up short in the clutch fight. He's coming in off a loss to Sonnen, but it was a loss that actually moved Bisping forward as he gave Chael all he could handle, and in the eyes of many should have won the decision. Always an outspoken fighter with a strong following in the UK, Bisping has seemed primed for a title shot for ages - now might be the time.
Brian Stann is another fighter who looks primed by the UFC for a title shot, and understandably so. With his decorated military background, intelligent demeanor, and KO power, he's a marketing dream. But in his loss to Sonnen last year, he showed a real lack of highly developed skill on the ground. Give Stann a fighter who will recklessly trade shots with him and The All American will excel, but Bisping will provide a tough test.
Why should you care?
This should be a very nice stand-up battle, plus the winner could easily be next in line for Silva. I'm in.
More UFC 152 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.