(Video courtesy of YouTube/ncaasteve)
Steve Cofield caught up to TUF 14 coach Michael Bisping recently during a break from taping the SPIKE TV reality series, and the cocky Brit expressed his dissentient opinion that his opposing coach on the show, Jason “Mayhem” Miller is not a worthy opponent.
“I can fully understand it. The guy’s obviously….he does Bully Beatdown. He does a TV show, so he’s got a bit of got a bit of a crossover appeal, if you will, but I wasn’t overly excited that he’s going to be my next fight. I wanted somebody like Chael Sonnen or possibly the winner of [Yushin] Okami and Anderson [Silva] — you know, somebody of that stature in the middleweight division,” Bisping explained matter-of-factly. “But I can understand from a business perspective the UFC’s decision to do…you know, to give Mayhem the shot. It’s a double-edged sword. It will be good for the show, but it wasn’t the opponent I wanted though.”
Bisping may have caught a break when Sonnen was barred from being on the show due to his ongoing licensing issues with the California State Athletic Commission as the durable Team Quest product would drink his milkshake seven different ways.
What’s somewhat of a head-scratcher is how Bisping thinks he should be considered a superior fighter to Miller.
Let’s compare their last ten fights:
Bisping’s current three-fight streak includes wins over 39-year-old Jorge Rivera and 35-year-old Yoshihiro Akiyama. Akiyama’s biggest win of the past three years was a very debatable split-decision over Alan Belcher. Rivera’s biggest win over the same period was against Kendall Grove.
Looking at his losses, Bisping was knocked out by Dan Henderson and dropped decisions to Rashad Evans, (which prompted him to drop to middleweight) and to aging veteran Wanderlei Silva, whose UFC success could be described as lacklustre, in spite of his go-for-broke fan-friendly style.
If we go back further and find the biggest win of Bisping’s career, it would have to be the one he stole from Matt Hamill, which most would argue was a gift decision awarded to him by hometown judges in England. Because the fight took place at light heavyweight, it doesn’t improve his spot in the rankings.
Now let’s take a look at Miller’s past ten fights.
His win over Sakuraba pretty much cancels out Bisping’s win over Rivera and you could argue that his win over Tim Kennedy is worth more than any of Bisping’s, considering he is consistently ranked higher than any of the fighters “The Count” has fought at 185.
One point that’s worth noting is that Bisping has only fought one top 5 ranked middlewight fighter — Dan Henderson — and he was knocked out in devastating fashion in that fight. Miller has faced two: Chael Sonnen and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and although he lost to both of them, he did so by decision, which in itself is a feat considering the caliber of both fighters.
He also survived three rounds with one of the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Maybe we’re missing something, but how exactly is Bisping on another echelon than Miller?
He later backtracks slightly in the interview from all but calling Miller a can to simply stating he’s a decent fighter looking to propel himself into the limelight by beating a fighter of his, er..stature.
“Listen…Miller’s tough. There’s no question, he’s super tough. He’s got great cardio. He’s tough as hell. If you look at his fight with Georges St-Pierre, he was getting the shit kicked out of him and he was just laughing the whole time. So he’s hard to finish, do you know what I mean? He’s tough. He’s got awesome jiu-jitsu. He’s got underrated stand-up and good wrestling. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not underestimating him. I’m not thinking he’s a lesser fighter than me,” Bisping explained with a straight face after stating minutes before that he was a superior fighter to Miller. “That’s not what I’m saying. But in terms of world rankings and getting a title shot, I don’t think he’s going to progress me in my career. In some ways I think he’s a bad match-up because the pressure’s going to be on me because I’m expected to beat him. And he’s obviously looking to make a name on my back.”
So a win over Mayhem wouldn’t do anything for his career, but his past three wins over Akiyama, Miller and Rivera did?
Fight Matrix’s middleweight rankings disagree: