Michael Bisping was hoping to crown himself the next rightful number one contender to Anderson Silva's middleweight throne at tonight's (Sat., Sept. 22, 2012) UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort" event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when he took on fellow perennial top contender Brian Stann.
Bisping made it clear that he was informed an impressive victory over the always game "All American" would earn him a crack at the crown, with an emphasis on impressive. Stann, of course, was promised no such thing but the road to the upper echelon would shorten considerably with a win here.
The Brit won, but I'm not sure anyone would call it impressive.
After a back-and-forth opening round, Stann rocked Bisping coming out of a takedown attempt but his inability to finish the job there proved to be his downfall. "The Count" grappled his way to victory over the final two rounds and swept the judges scorecards 29-28 across the board.
The crowd was hot for the start of this one but the fighters quickly clinched against the cage and battled for position. That didn't last too long and they squared off in the center of the cage before long, where Stann landed a few solid punches that had Bisping shooting in for a takedown.
He never got it and, in fact, ended up pressed against the cage eating a couple punches on the way out.
Bisping found himself attempting another takedown close to the end of the round but got caught with a big right that had him wobbly. The American tried to capitalize but couldn't before the horn sounded.
"The Count" immediately charged in and succeeded in taking Stann down early in round two but it took about 20 seconds for "All American" to reverse and end up on top in Bisping's full guard.
During a scramble, Stann briefly stopped, due to a thumb to the eye according to color commentator Joe Rogan, and Bisping got the better of the exchange getting back to the feet. The referee never saw anything and there was no stoppage of the action.
With 30 seconds left in the second, the British bad boy executed another big slam takedown to score a few more points to close our the frame.
Early in the third, Bisping drove through for another takedown, scoring points all the way. Stann looked visibly tired at this point, flinging punches with far less power and even less velocity.
Stann let off a flurry at the end but it was too little, too late. Bisping moves on and continues his campaign for a middleweight title shot.
Is he worthy now?
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's complete coverage of UFC 152 by clicking here.