Michael Bisping (L) feels bad that he will punch Chael Sonnen in the face this weekend rather than his originally-scheduled opponent, Demian Maia (R), because of a UFC on Fox 2 last-minute fight card shake up.
"I was disappointed to hear my fight with Bisping was off, but am happy to still be on the card on FOX. I’m ready to turn a negative into a positive, to control the part I can control, which is winning. A win over Bisping would have put me back in the world title picture, but Weidman is a dangerous young fighter and he knows a win over me put him in a great position. Bisping actually apologized to me for taking the Sonnen fight, but I completely understand. I appreciated him saying that, but this is what we do and the sport we are in. Now I can’t think about Bisping. I have to think about Chris Weidman. I don’t know if it is possible for Weidman to be 100% fit after taking the fight at such short notice. I’m not sure, but I have to go in thinking with the mindset that he is 100 percent. He is very dangerous, and I guess that I would rather fight him now than after he gets even better and more experienced. For sure, he will be very motivated. I am not going to lose at this stage though; I have worked too hard and expect a submission after a tough fight."
-- Demian Maia, the odd man out when Mark Munoz recently went down with an elbow injury, reveals that Michael Bisping actually apologized to him for accepting a fight with Chael Sonnen and the opportunity to perhaps compete for a middleweight world title with a win at UFC on Fox 2: "Evans vs. Davis." Maia and Bisping were originally booked to battle inside the Octagon at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., this weekend (Sat., Jan. 28, 2012); however, when the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" had to withdraw at the last minute from his more meaningful co main event fight against Sonnen, the promotion plugged in "The Count" to fill the void. It's likely that Bisping didn't have much of a choice either way -- sure, switching opponents one week out from fight night is less than ideal (for everyone), but the potential positive outcome helps him achieve his career goal quicker, earning a fight against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Despite the fight card switch, Maia seems to be taking it all in stride, even indicating that he'd prefer to fight a rather inexperienced Chris Weidman now than a more complete mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter later on down the road. Is Maia's bad luck destined to continue or will he have what it takes to take out the "All American" in the "Windy City" this Saturday night?