Michael Bisping has definitely been a colorful character during his lengthy UFC tenure, but now the veteran middleweight finds himself in a must-win situation at Fight Night 48 in Macau. “The Count” will battle explosive striker Cung Le in what shapes up as an action-packed main event clash. Bisping is coming off a lackluster performance in a unanimous decision loss to Tim Kennedy at the TUF Nations Finale, while Le will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time since 2012.
Bisping has faced top-flight competition as both a middleweight and light heavyweight during his 20-fight stint with the promotion. However, his stock dropped dramatically after the loss to Kennedy. The No. 8 ranked contender is eager to make amends for the poor showing in what was his first fight back after undergoing major eye surgery. Bisping has been doing his usual trash-talking in advance of the fight and vows he will be responsible for Le’s demise.
The Season 3 winner of The Ultimate Fighter has always been a mainstay that other competitors enjoyed calling out because of his cocky nature and his ability to sell fights. However, it appears as though Bisping’s best days are behind him. The English fighter gets a chance to rejuvenate his lagging career if he can produce an impressive effort this weekend. He’s compiled a 14-6 UFC record but has never been able to nail down an elusive title shot.
The 42-year-old Le is coming off a recent coaching stint on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter: China. He’s fought sparingly in recent years as he’s also concentrated on an acting career. Le is noted for his dangerous stand-up game which makes for a promising stylistic matchup against the aggressive Bisping. Le knocked out fellow veteran Rich Franklin in Macau in his last appearance. He’s gone 2-1 during his UFC tenure.
The former Strikeforce champion still has hopes of a potential future clash against former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Le could very well get into that conversation with a victory over Bisping. He’s a proven finisher with eight knockouts in his nine career wins. Le has a very unorthodox style that features an assortment of damaging leg kicks and punches. While he’s had cardio issues in the past, Le appears to be in tremendous shape for this fight.
While this matchup certainly isn’t one with any title implications, there’s no doubt the winner will be in line for some exciting future opportunities within the middleweight division. Bisping and Le have the skills and the fighting spirits to produce an entertaining affair.
Rick Lafitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports