IS BISPING A BETTER OPPONENT FOR SONNEN?
On the horn:
LEAD SR WRITER
|UFC Middle weight Michael Bisping|
Michael Bisping (22-3) is a fantastic boxer in relation to many others within the middle weight division. With 14 knock outs to his credit and a highlight reel filled with trash talking spots of brilliance that have, and have not, endeared him to fight fans who wants to see someone they have an interest in throwing down inside the cage. Bisping has put on many quality bouts against MMA stars like Denis Kang, Chris Leben, and Wanderlei Silva and only has one definitive loss on his record to Dan Henderson.
When news of Mark Munoz, Sonnen's original opponent, being pulled from the card due to injury broke and Bisping was his replacement, I was not in the majority of people that apparently are more interested in this fight than the Sonnen vs Munoz. When Ariel Hawani interviewed Chael Sonnen at a UFC on FOX 2 workout, Sonnen (26-11-1) said he definitely felt the public response to the Bisping match up being stronger than that of the Munoz fight.
"I felt that from the media, online, in interviews," Sonnen said. "I like it whe I can be part of something that people take an interest in."
(CONTINUED)... INTERVIEW INCLUDED
"I felt that, I felt that a lot. When this fight got changed the tickets more than doubled," Sonnen said. "The tickets were doing good at about 9,800 then Boom, this fight got announced and that week they bumped up to almost 18,000."
Although Sonnen is happy that more fans seem to have an interest in his fight with Bisping more than Munoz, but there is a chance that fans are into the match up for the wrong reasons if you listen to what Sonnen had to say during his interview. Sonnen felt that media outlets were interested in the trash talking aspect of this match up more than the fighting portion of the co-main event. This is something that doesn't sit well with Sonnen who is weary of people seeing things as an act if he is talking trash about opponents that he legitimately doesn't have a problem with.
"I'm at a press conference here and almost every media member I talk to keeps bringing up terms like 'hype' and 'smack' and 'trash talk'," Sonnen said.
"I hate those terms, I resist them greatly. I don't like it when the people say it, I feel like that's some kind of an act or something and I don't like that. If I didn't mean it I wouldn't say it."
Although I see what Sonnen is saying, I have heard a story that Sonnen told about the Nogueira brother's coming to America for the first time and thing that a bus was a horse. There is a chance that a few things Sonnen says are more hype based than anything else, (hint o' sarcasm) but overall it's clear that Sonnen is a great public figure who many love to listen to talk. Regardless of fans enjoying his words, Sonnen makes it clear that his fighting skills are what viewers need to respect and what opponents truly need to worry about.
IS BISPING A BETTER OPPONENT RIGHT NOW?
Bisping would have been a much better opponent for Sonnen if this fight was the original match up. There would be much more time for promotional materials and the opportunity for Bisping or Sonnen to do something that would send the ticket sails through the roof. Bisping's stand up skills really do give Sonnen something to deal with on the feet. Sonnen has power and the ability to hurt foes with his hands, he clearly was able to stand up with one of the most talented fighters on the planet at UFC 117 against Anderson Silva.
The wrestling abilities of Bisping is the only issue that this match up brings on paper right off the bat, but Munoz has beaten Sonnen in NCAA division wrestling before and possesses the powerful striking from dominant wrestling positions. This is what had many excited about Munoz taking on Sonnen, but either way Sonnen is primed and ready to take home the victory by anyway possible.
"I will do that (win) by any means necessary," Sonnen said.
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