After being the victim of a grinding five-round decision loss to Tim Kennedy in his last Octagon appearance in April, Michael Bisping has been granted his wish to face a proven striker in his next fight. “The Count” will square off against the dangerous Cung Le in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event in Macau, China on Aug. 23.
Bisping is hoping to prove his relevancy in the middleweight division by producing a victory against the 42-year-old veteran. Le knocked out Rich Franklin in his last Octagon appearance in 2012, but has spent the time since that triumph serving as both an actor and coach of The Ultimate Fighter: China. Le has produced eight knockout victories in his nine career wins. He’s 2-1 during his UFC tenure and this will mark his second-straight fight in Macau.
As for Bisping, he’s been close but no cigar when it comes to earning a middleweight title shot and appears to be on the downside of his colourful career. The TUF Season 3 winner has traditionally been the fighter most called out by competitors looking to raise their stock. Le shapes up as a formidable challenge and has the type of style that should bring out the best in Bisping. The charismatic English fighter has produced a 14-6 record during his 20 Octagon appearances.
Le is noted for his remarkable and unorthodox striking style. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion owns notable victories over Frank Shamrock and Franklin. He is truly one of those fighters willing to deliver a punch or kick from any angle and possesses formidable power.
Bisping has traditionally been a 185-pound title contender, but is badly in need of a victory to rejuvenate his career. His losing effort against Kennedy in Quebec City was his first Octagon appearance since a pair of surgeries after sustaining an eye injury. It was one of the rare times in his career that a Bisping performance was greeted by a chorus of boos because of a lack of action.
This particular matchup may not have much of an impact on the middleweight rankings, but has the potential to produce fireworks. Both Le and Bisping are motivated to produce an exciting contest and it should lead to quite an entertaining affair in Macau.
Rick Lafitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.