UFC middleweight Michael Bisping notched an impressive victory over Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 72 on July 18, but the division’s champion, Chris Weidman, remains unmoved.
While Weidman recognizes several challenges in the 185-pound division moving forward, Bisping is not among them.
The champ feels he could take Bisping, and he wouldn’t even have to wake up to do it. Weidman said during a recent Periscope session (h/t MMA Mania’s Adam Guillen Jr.):
Bisping is a joke. I would love for him to fight for the title because I’d literally beat him sleepwalking. I think I could beat him while I’m sleepwalking. He has no punching power, so I can literally fall asleep while he’s punching me, just get a hold of him and throw him on the floor. If he doesn’t get knocked out when he falls on the floor, I’ll just submit him.
Weidman wasn’t done:
I can submit him with my eyes closed, 100-percent. That’s not me talking any junk. That’s just me being honest. That poor guy, he’s just such an easy fight. I don’t even think you have to get in shape for it. I hope to God that he somehow gets his way to the top. Right now he is so far from it, but I really hope he can get there. I know he’d talk trash back and it would be exciting, but I don’t have the full confidence that he can get to the top.
Beneath the obvious exaggerations, Weidman has a point. Bisping really poses no threat to him inside the Octagon.
The brash British fighter makes his living through volume striking, picking apart his opponent and avoiding serious damage in the process. Since January 2012, Bisping has posted a modest 5-4 record, with four of his wins coming via decision.
When he received a top-shelf opponent—Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Luke Rockhold, Tim Kennedy—during that stretch, he failed, and Weidman is undoubtedly in their class (or above).
A former All-American wrestler at Hofstra with devastating knockout power, Weidman has shown virtually no holes in his game since coming to the UFC in March 2011. After beating the consensus greatest middleweight of all time, Anderson Silva, twice in back-to-back bouts to capture and defend the UFC Middleweight Championship, Weidman has only gotten better.
He’s since defeated Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort; the former is a karate expert with powerful and pinpoint striking, and the latter is a powerhouse of a man with knockout capability in every limb.
Weidman disposed of them with relative ease.
Currently, the Long Islander has a tentative date with Rockhold lined up for his next title defense. Perhaps Bisping can work his way up to a title shot in the meantime, but for now, the likes of Yoel Romero, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi are ahead of him in the rankings and seemingly present greater challenges.
When looking at Weidman vs. Bisping, there’s only one area in which you could definitively give the edge to Bisping, and that’s in the cardio department. The Brit is a cardio machine, and Weidman, a massive middleweight who makes a dramatic cut to the 185-pound limit, has faded in fights before.
Still, that’s not enough to even remotely favor Bisping. Weidman has the power and the game plan, and his grappling is perhaps the most effective in the entire organization.
He’d need to be awake to be certain, but Weidman beats Bisping nine out of 10 times and suffers a freak injury in the 10th bout.
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