The war of words has begun between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contenders Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping. The two fighters are expected to headline UFC Fight Night 30 on Fox Sports 2 (formerly Fuel TV) on October 26, 2013 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Yesterday (August 9, 2013), Munoz' gym, Reign Training Center, opened its doors for the media when they played host to the Alliance Training Center. Between rounds of sparring, Mark Munoz spoke about his upcoming bout with Bisping and the comments that were made about sending him back into a depression with my buddy Rick Lee.
"Bisping has already been talking, I know. I was at my camp doing 10 days of an intensive wrestling camp with a bunch of wrestlers, over 300 of them. My phone was just blowing up. People were texting me and tweeting me all this stuff about Bisping talking a lot of smack about me. But that stuff doesn't bother me. I show my talk inside the Octagon. He was saying he was going to beat me into depression and if I was depressed, I'd go into more depression. The fact of the matter is, he has pillows for fists. He hasn't knocked anybody out and he says he's gonna knock me out? He hasn't knocked anybody out. It's going to be like a pillow fight when I fight him. He's going to have pillows and I'm going to have hammers."
This is one of the better stylistic match ups that the UFC could have made. Bisping's wrestling has improved to the point that he was able to prevent three of Chael Sonnen's takedown attempts at UFC on Fox 2, while scoring one of his own in the process. According to Fight Metric, he's able to defend the takedown 64% of the time.
His striking is some of the best in the division. While he lacks the ability to put an opponent away with one strike, his constant movement and ability to find his range has allowed him to outwork opponents and land 41% of his strikes. It should also be noted that he has the gas tank to go the full 15 minutes.
By contrast, Munoz is known as one of the best wrestlers in the division with his NCAA pedigree, but only lands about 27% of every takedown he attempts. The flipside is that once he has a fighter on the mat, his control from the top is stifling and his ground and pound is absolutely brutal.
On the feet, he has some real power in his hands and astonishingly lands more strikes than the Brit. His style is to sit back on punches, opting for power instead of movement, and when he connects, people go to sleep.