Michael Bisping (left) and Brian Stann (right) exchange shots during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre on Sat., Sept. 22, 2012 in Toronto. Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
Bisping tried to get under Stann's skin with an intense staredown at both the pre-fight press conference and at the weigh-ins the day before, and it may have worked.
This was a battle of power versus conditioning as Stann tried to take Bisping's head off while Bisping worked to utilize his entire mixed martial arts skill-set.
In the end, Bisping's well-roundedness earned him the nod on the judges' scorecards.
So what specifically put Bisping over the top? And where do both men go from here?
Follow me after the jump for our Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann UFC 152 post-fight review and analysis.
Both men were finding success early on as Stann threw heavy power shots to keep Bisping on his heels and Bisping tried to counter with strong, quick jabs, counters and the occasional takedown attempts.
Stann fended him off at first, and made him pay with short-range blows on the exit. While the first round was very close, "The All-American" went over the top by nearly knocking Bisping out in the final 30 seconds of the frame.
Bisping again attacked with takedown attempts in the second round but this time he found success, lifting Stann up into the air and crashing him to the canvas. To Stann's credit, he reversed Bisping's first takedown and wound up on top although he couldn't do much with the position and was eventually put on his back again.
By the third round, Stann's pace had somewhat slowed while Bisping still looked fresh. At this point in the fight, Bisping was landing his sharp lead left jab at will. Stann's head was getting knocked back every time "The Count" flashed the jab and he had no answer for it. Again Bisping mixed in takedowns to give him an edge and it was enough to convince the judges that he'd won the final two rounds and the fight.
For Brian Stann, he can't be too disappointed with his performance. His stand-up, while not as fast as Bisping's, was equally as threatening due to the power he packs in his punches. He did a good job of mixing in leg and body kicks to keep Bisping honest on the feet as well. While he did get put on his back three times, he should be proud of himself for fending off about nine other takedown attempts and a few of them Bisping got deep and couldn't finish. On top of that, Stann reversed the one takedown to get on top and got up quickly on another occasion. He's definitely improving although he didn't quite do enough to get the win here.
For Michael Bisping, other than nearly getting knocked out there at the end of the first round (which seems to happen in every single one of his fights), he looked solid. His jab was fantastic, perhaps the best it's ever been and he did some damage to Stann's face with it. He also was sneaky with his right hand, timing it well to keep Stann on his toes. The takedowns, while semi-surprising, were actually attempted with pretty solid technique and he was able to put Stann on his back about 25 percent of the time. He stuck with it after getting stuffed in the first round and it paid off.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Who impressed you more last night, Bisping or Stann? Would you get riled up if the UFC chose Bisping over Weidman as the next number one contender?