Talk is cheap.
Perhaps, but it does sell tickets and slam butts in seats. Just ask Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping, who will share the spotlight together as the co-main event at Saturday night's (Jan. 28, 2012) event: UFC on FOX 2, which takes place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Earlier today (Jan. 26, 2012), the talkative twosome joined 102.5 FM's "The Game Nashville Sports Radio" to discuss their upcoming bout.
It didn't take Sonnen long to get into hype mode:
"They (the fans) can expect a fight. They can expect two guys that are coming out to fight. I had to grow up hearing that a fight was boxing. And I had to grow up hearing about this myth: Mike Tyson. Everybody said he was the best fighter in the world. He wasn't even the best fighter in America. Now we've got fighting. Fighting is on TV. Fighting is on FOX. And, you know, the two best fighters in the business just happen to be in the same weight class, and happen to be coming at you live. Eight (o'clock) in the east, five (o'clock) in the west."
For more gems from Sonnen and Bisping, follow me after the jump:
Not to be outdone, Bisping threw down a similar gauntlet for fans and potential fight viewers:
"Listen, I've been fighting since I was eight years old and I've been pretty good at it. I've had so many fights - I can't remember. Now, I'm fortunate enough to be paid to fight. My dream, my goal and my destiny is to be world champion. Saturday night, there's one more man in the way of that, and that's Chael Sonnen. You'll be able to watch it live on TV, on FOX TV. It's gonna be ‘Fight of the Night' if not ‘Fight of the Year.' I'm gonna use a quote that I've used before: ‘If you've got two b---s swinging between your legs, tune in and watch this fight, cuz you ain't gonna be disappointed.'"
It's talk like that that has garnered "The Count" a bit of a surly reputation. He spoke about how he's been received, particulary in "The States:"
"For me, it started out pretty good, and went downhill pretty fast (laughs). I do get booed, pretty much unanimously, everywhere I go, but I couldn't care less. My last fight, however, I got booed on the way in and cheered on the way out. So, who knows? Maybe I'm start to turn them around. But, ultimately, I don't give a damn. People don't like it. I'm English, I come over and I kick ass and go home! That said, I live here in America now, so it's changed a little bit. I love America. I love spending time here. I love the people. I love the country. I love the food. That said, I've got one American standing in font of me and I wanna kick his ass!"
The wrestling match for air time continued as Sonnen went on to continue hyping Saturday's card, going so far as to proclaim that his fight against Bisping is the real main event:
"Yeah, we've taken over the airwaves. No doubt about it. Two thousand hours is what we've committed to the FOX network stations for the next year. This is a big match coming up this weekend. Not just ours, but it's a tripleheader. We're the true main event. We're the ones that sold the tickets. We're the ones that are bringing the people in. But the fact of the matter is that there's a lot of good talent on this card, and ‘Chael Sonnen Promotions' in conjunction with Zuffa will bring you UFC on FOX 2, LIVE on Saturday night from the United Center. Eight in the east, five in the west, in case you failed to hear me the first time."
Ultimately, both fighters believe this will be no walk in the park. They both predict a war and both believe they themselves will emerge the victor.
Here's what Bisping had to say about the difficulty of the opponent standing in front of him:
"I'm under no illusion that this is gonna be easy. I'm gonna overcome adversity. I'm gonna be put in bad positions. I'm gonna be elbowed in the face, punched in the face, repeatedly. But as he said, I'm doing the same thing to him. We match up very well. We're similar size. I'm assuming we're gonna have similar strengths, overall. Chael is always in great condition. His endurance is always off the chart. So is mine. I'm known for that as well. This is gonna be a fast paced, high intensity match. I plan on being the victor and so does he. That's what makes it exciting. You've got two guys, very confident, high skill sets, that know how to fight. I almost wanna be a spectator myself. Unfortunately, I'm in the damn thing."
Sonnen agreed. He even complimented Bisping on his toughness and grit:
"If I could pay him a compliment, I'd say that his toughness is his greatest attribute. I would say the fact that he goes hard and doesn't back down the whole time is his strongest point.
I'm prepared for war. Michael just made a statement that he's gonna kick my ass, Saturday night. I don't really disagree with that. Where I would step in is to say, I'm gonna kick his ass even worse! This is going to be a fight amongst men. I plan to get my ass kicked but I plan to hand one right back."
Sounds like a plan!
Are you Maniacs fired up for this fight? Do you think Sonnen will be able to use his wrestling to smother Bisping to death? Or will "The Count" use his striking to grab the upper hand?
Comments are welcomed.