UFC 152: September 22, 2012 Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada UFC Middleweight Contender Michael Bisping (-185) Profile: The brash Michael Bisping (22-4) always has something to say, and after winning Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter and going 10-4 in UFC, he has backed up his talk for the most part. Of late, Bisping has been developing the rest of his fight repertoire to supplement his solid striking skills. Now with the ground game to back up his stand-up, the 33-year-old Brit has been able to string together a number of impressive wins over the likes of Matt Hamill, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chris Leben and Jason Miller at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale. In a middleweight title eliminator fight at UFC on FOX 3 against top middleweight contender Chael Sonnen, Bisping lost a highly controversial unanimous decision and then suffered a torn meniscus in his knee that caused him to withdraw from his matchup with Tim Boetsch. Now recovered, he is set to fight former Marine Brian Stann at UFC 152 to help clear up the pecking order behind middleweight champion Anderson Silva. UFC Middleweight Contender Brian Stann (+155) Profile: Brian Stann (12-4) is 6-3 in the UFC and coming off an impressive first-round knockout of Alessio Sakara on April 14 at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Sweden. In fact, his most recent victory made headlines because he backed off Sakara once he knew he was out rather than finishing him off with additional strikes. The 31-year-old Stann is 4-1 since moving to middleweight from light heavyweight, with his only loss against top contender Chael Sonnen by choke submission at UFC 136 last October 8. Stann had also previously knocked out Jorge Santiago at UFC 130 and Chris Leben at UFC 125 and choked out Mike Massenzio at middleweight before losing to Sonnen. He was originally expected to fight Hector Lombard in his UFC debut but had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. Opening UFC 152 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Bisping a solid -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) against Stann, who opened as a +155 underdog (bet $100 to win $155) according to the MMA odds. It’s put up or shut time for Bisping, who believes he should be next in line for a title shot against Silva. While he would have loved an opportunity to beat Lombard, the man he was originally supposed to meet (Boetsch) cashed in on that chance instead while Stann was left wondering what could have been as Lombard’s initial opponent. The winner of this fight between Bisping and Stann could very well face Boetsch next in another middleweight title eliminator bout, and both men know it. Each of them is coming off an injury, which makes this matchup even more intriguing. Bisping has yet to defeat a top-level American fighter, and he and Stann also share a recent common opponent in Sonnen. Neither was able to beat Sonnen yet one of them could get the same title shot he did in the near future with another couple wins.
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