There is no greater goal for Michael Bisping than fighting and winning the UFC middleweight title, but to take the next step he first had to go through Brian Stann at UFC 152.
Heading into the fight, all the talk was about Stann’s power versus Bisping’s quickness on the feet, but ultimately it all came down to strategy and execution.
The first round saw both fighters exchanging strikes with Bisping working inside the clinch with elbows and short punches. Getting too close to the fire almost got him burnt however when Stann connected with a big right after the two fighters separated towards the end of the first round.
Bisping’s jaw was rattled and he walked away wobbled, but survived to hear the final horn sound.
The rest of the fight became Bisping’s display of an overall MMA game that he may not have shown off too much in the past, but it worked beautifully against Stann on Saturday night.
Time and again, Bisping latched onto Stann’s legs and lifted him up and then back down to the mat, where he worked from the top with short punches, submission attempts, and basically controlling the former Marine captain.
“The game plan, mix it up, I think I have a more rounded skill set, land punches, take him down, take him down, land punches,” Bisping said about his strategy.
Bisping was all about that strategy for the final ten minutes as he frustrated Stann with takedowns, and on the feet he was just quicker to the punch as the former WEC champion struggled to find a home for his strikes.
The final call came back with all three judges scoring the bout 29-28 for Michael Bisping, who gets back on track for a contender’s spot in the middleweight division.
Bisping has never been quiet about his desire to fight for the UFC 185lb title, and he once again made those pleas heard when the microphone was put in front of him on Saturday night.
“I’m not the most talented person in the world, but I’m hungry and I want it, and that over powers anything,” Bisping said. “My desire to be the world champion is not going away. The owners of the organization – hook a brother up!”