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Old 09-07-2007, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is Bisping as good as his record?

Pretty cool story I found about Michael Bisping on foxsports.com:

Quote:
The first-ever Pride champion vs. UFC champion showdown with Dan Henderson vs. Quinton Jackson may end up as the biggest MMA fight on free television this year. But in London, where the event takes place on Saturday, it is not Henderson or Jackson most fans are coming to see.

Michael "The Count" Bisping of Liverpool, England, is the biggest draw on the show, and considered the prime reason for an expected sellout of around 15,000 fans at the 02 Arena. He's the company's top commodity in its attempts to expand the brand throughout Europe, with fame coming off winning the light heavyweight championship during the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
With a 14-0 record (and no matches going the distance) in a sport where that kind of an unbeaten streak is a rarity, the question is being asked, "Just how good is Michael Bisping?"

It's a tough question to answer, because he's never had to face a top-ranked opponent. His paper stats are great. Ten first-round finishes, ten KOs or TKOs, and four submissions. He's only once been taken to the third round.

Saturday's match, billed as "The Ultimate Fighter final you didn't see," pits him against a strong wrestler in Matt Hamill, which has a story behind it as both were teammates under coach Tito Ortiz during Ultimate Fighter's most highly rated season. They appeared to be looming toward a showdown. Bisping was the superior striker, and Hamill, a three-time NCAA Division III national champion best known for overcoming being deaf, was shown in clips throwing people around in practice, while Ortiz fawned all over him because he felt he had superstar potential.

During the show, Bisping felt miffed at what he thought was preferential treatment. More than a year later, it's Bisping that has become the breakout star out of that show, becoming one of the most popular fighters, even in the U.S. Hamill has remained unbeaten, but his style isn't crowd-pleasing and because of it, his inspiring story of a man who overcame a handicap hasn't taken hold as much as Ortiz probably figured it would.

But the showdown on the show never happened. Hamill was throwing his teammates around in practice, with grumbling that he was being reckless in doing so, and always going 100 percent when coaches were saying to go 75 percent. As a receipt, Bisping, in practice, caught him in an armbar and held it tight, injuring Hamill's left elbow right before he had a fight scheduled. At another point in practice, Hamill was knocked out by a kick from Kendall Grove. Hamill went into his first fight on the television show as a one-armed fighter, and didn't even try to use his wrestling, and scored a sloppy decision win in a stand-up fight that saw him get tagged several times, and wound up with him in the hospital and unable to continue in the tournament. Bisping walked through the competition like a hot knife through butter, although Hamill would have likely posed his toughest threat had he not been injured.

Since winning the show, Bisping has become one of the most popular fighters in the organization, but it was never more evident than in his win over Elvis Sinosic on April 21 in the UFC's first foray into Europe with a show in Manchester, England. While he stopped the Australian fighter in the second round, he was knocked down by a knee to the chin and Sinosic nearly had him with a Kimura submission. That brief sequence seems to have grown in importance as time has marched on, when coupled with him also being rocked on a TUF match against smaller countryman Ross Pointon.

But that ignores that Bisping came back from being stunned and quickly won both fights. Bisping destroyed Sinosic virtually the entire first round, and was very close to stopping him. After the momentary setback, Bisping reversed things in round two and finished Sinosic immediately. But that one knee strike has made people question if he's as good as his record — and his hype — as the face of the sport in his native country.

Hamill, 5-0, has campaigned for the match for some time, including Bisping saying it would be a step backward in his career to take the match. Bisping made fun of the fact Hamill's last match wasn't even televised because even though he has name recognition from the show, his style isn't crowd-pleasing, and he felt Hamill hadn't earned a ticket to a match near the top of the card. But the UFC saw it as a perfect showcase match for Bisping's London debut. It's a grudge match, but it does pose risks for Bisping, because if Hamill can take control with his wrestling, he can neutralize Bisping's strengths and make him look bad in the process, in what would have to be considered the most important fight of his career.

It's a simple match to handicap. If it stays standing, Hamill has little chance, and Bisping would likely give the audience an entertaining and explosive-style win. But Hamill is coming off a win over former Ohio State University wrestling legend Rex Holman, and he used his style of takedown and ugly ground-and-pound to finish a guy who is going to be better than Bisping, at least on paper, in avoiding getting taken down. In Hamill's recent fights, the wins haven't been pretty, but they've been one-sided nonetheless. He claims to be a different fighter today, having cleaned up his punching techniques on the ground. Still, his strategy is to get the takedown, and simply control and maul on the ground. Bisping's is to make Hamill work for the takedown so he tires as the fight goes on, or better yet, avoid going to the ground as much as possible. But he doesn't fear the ground.

"If Matt gets me to the ground, I'm going to submit him, or get back to my feet," said Bisping, who did much of his training in Big Bear, Calif. in the same camp with Jackson and Brandon Vera.

Bisping said it's not hard to figure out Hamill's strategy and every time he comes in for a takedown, he's going to be met with a kick, a knee or a punch to the face.

But even with a win, the questions about where Bisping truly stands when it comes to the top dogs in the light heavyweight division are still not likely to be fully answered.
Here is the link for those who want it:

FOX Sports on MSN - Boxing - Bisping due for stiff test, high drama
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice sig.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice sig.
Thanks. You made it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice read - +rep
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The thing is, we still won't know how good he is if he beats Hamill. Personally, I'd like to see him fight a mid tier guy like Forest, Bonnar or Jardine. I think then we'd have a better idea of how good he is.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I hate to say this but Bisping is a little overrated. The minute he gets in thier with a top tier guy he will get smashed.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He's a guy who would get stomped by top competition, but he's also a guy who is charismatic and exciting to watch. People dig Bisping, no doubt about it, but he's not as good as people make him out to be.

People look at his record, and think, "Wow, this guy is undefeated!" But, when you look at it again, you'll notice that Bisping hasn't fought anyone worth a damn. He got outstruck by a severly battered Elvis Sinosic, and controlled by Eric Schafer. I like Schafer, but he's not even a mid-level guy.

So, he's basically in Bonnar territory, in that he's solid, but will never be champion in a division filled with really good fighters. Hell, I believe that Bonnar would beat him, too.

I don't really care who wins between Hamill & Bisping, because, quite frankly, I'm going to laugh at the guy who loses. I can't stand Matt Hamill and his cheating, but Bisping fans having heart attacks at the sight of Hamill kicking his ass would be hilarious.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Juanito (Jackson's trainer) says he's stedily improving and can be one of the top fighters in the ufc. Alot of people say Bisping will head down to middleweight after this fight. I don't know how'd he fair there, but I don't rank him in the top ten in the ufc at 205. He's pretty solid, but not in the same league as Liddell, Shogun, Jackson or even Nakamura or Machida.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damone
He's a guy who would get stomped by top competition, but he's also a guy who is charismatic and exciting to watch. People dig Bisping, no doubt about it, but he's not as good as people make him out to be.

People look at his record, and think, "Wow, this guy is undefeated!" But, when you look at it again, you'll notice that Bisping hasn't fought anyone worth a damn. He got outstruck by a severly battered Elvis Sinosic, and controlled by Eric Schafer. I like Schafer, but he's not even a mid-level guy.

So, he's basically in Bonnar territory, in that he's solid, but will never be champion in a division filled with really good fighters. Hell, I believe that Bonnar would beat him, too.

I don't really care who wins between Hamill & Bisping, because, quite frankly, I'm going to laugh at the guy who loses. I can't stand Matt Hamill and his cheating, but Bisping fans having heart attacks at the sight of Hamill kicking his ass would be hilarious.

I wondered if there would ever be a day I disagreed with you, I guess it happend today.

I dont know how we can count out Bisping to flourish in this division one day. I'll admit, he aint ready for top competition, but lets not kid ourselves, he is only 28, lots of time to improve.

I'll admit a win against Hammill will prove absolutely nothin, but lets see what he does against a Bonnar, Griffin or Jardine before saying he wont amount to anything.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Bisping Vs Forrest Griffin could be interesting. I'd bet on Bisping in that fight.
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