Michael Bisping: Brian Stann's aggressive style plays to my strengths (Yahoo! Sports)


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(In the build-up to UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Yahoo! Sports will be featuring exclusive blogs from UFC middleweights Michael Bisping and Brian Stann as they prepare to fight one another. This is the second of four blogs from Michael Bisping.)

Brian Stann is going to get his arse kicked on September 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto.

I can’t wait to fight. Having to pull out of a fight this summer was horrible. I hated that, I’ve never done it before, I’ve not fought since January and I cannot wait to get in there and kick some arse.

Stann has said he “wants to test my chin”. A nice line from Captain Cliché there but, you know what, of course he does. He’s a big puncher and his only chance of winning this is landing some bombs and knocking me out.

Hey, it could happen. We can all get beat and with 4 oz. gloves, one punch on the chin is sometimes the difference between an after-party and a visit to the hospital. But I’ve fought some very hard strikers and only one of them has ever chinned me.

But I’m going to test his chin, too, and I’m a lot faster and more accurate than he is. To be honest, I have a boatload more strikes available to me and I think Stann’s chin is a lot more suspect than mine. Getting beat by Dan Henderson, who’s knocked out some of the best fighters in the world from welterweight to heavyweight, isn’t that disgraceful – especially when you consider Stann was stopped by Steve Cantwell.

The fact is that I’m a better fighter than Brian Stann. I’ve got him beaten is almost every department, although I think he’s a dangerous striker and, from what I’ve been told, he is physically very strong.

[Related: Weidman on the sidelines as Stann, Bisping hog attention]

He’s also got a reputation for being a come-forward aggressive fighter – which is the way I like my opponents – but having watched him on tape he isn’t always that aggressive. In some fights, he hesitates and sits back, and those are the fights he doesn’t do very well in. He also doesn’t seem to come up with a Plan B very quickly. I’m looking to start fast, take the initiative, and dictate the fight and not let him get any confidence at all.

I’m not underestimating this guy – he’s one of the best fighters in the division, and I know he’s going to look to knock my head off with every shot. He’s also got some nice leg-kicks which I don’t expect will make the walk to the gate at Toronto airport after the fight very relaxing.

But I think I’m half a step-up in all the key skills: striking, submissions and wrestling. This is my fight to lose, he can’t win the fight unless I make a mistake and give him a chance to. And being so close to a title shot, I’m not going to make mistakes. I’m taking this guy out.

The middleweight division seems to change every week, doesn’t it?

First a top contender Alan Belcher announces he's hurt, again, after only two fights back from his last serious injury. I don’t know him at all. All I know is he’s been calling me out forever and has the worst tattoo this side of that fat pervert in “the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” But Belcher is a great fighter in the division and it sucks he’s hurt again. The poor guy spends more time in bandages than King Tut – and that’s bad news for the division.

Then, Dana [White, UFC president] said champ Anderson Silva may fight welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre in a superfight in early 2013. The UFC is in the business of putting on fights fans want to see, and that’s got to be up there with the biggest fights ever.

[Related: Dana White confirms Silva-GSP likely to be made]

When I heard about it, my first thought was “Wow! I gotta hit Dana up for tickets for that!” and only then did I think “Actually, crap, that means even if I beat Stann in great fashion I’m probably looking at another fight in the interim before I get a title shot.”

Hey, that’s fine. I want to earn a shot at the title. I’ve been given two chances already (vs. Henderson and Chael Sonnen) and it’s not the UFC’s fault I lost those fights. If I have to beat Stann and then beat Chris Weidman or whoever else, that’s cool with me.

I think the middleweight division is better than ever and the most interesting division in the UFC right now. Anderson is the greatest fighter ever and he’s the champion of our division – and there’s a great pack of fighters all trying to prove we are next in line for a shot at him.

All of us have to make a lot of noise to be heard in this crowd– and my foot’s going to make a lot of noise when it kicks Brian Stann’s arse at UFC 152.

Follow me on Twitter @bisping

UFC 152 featuring Bisping vs Stann is live on pay-per-view and Yahoo! Sports on September 22, 7pm PT/ 10pm ET

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