(Well that is just *completely* out of character. / Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)
Both fighters are coming off of losses that set them back in the 185-pound pecking order. Bisping was recently knocked out by Vitor Belfort in Brazil, while Belcher — who has been calling for a fight against the Count since last May — saw his four-fight win streak come to an end via a unanimous decision loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 155. Following that fight, Bisping gleefully rubbed salt in Belcher’s wounds on his Yahoo! blog, writing:
“Belcher lost every minute of every round in a fight so boring I was afraid my brain was going to melt and start to dribble out of my ears. It was like someone detonated a nuclear bomb of boredom in the arena — everyone in the seats around me was playing Angry Birds. What delusions of grandeur Belcher has. This is a guy who didn’t fight for a year after giving himself career-threatening eye-strain by watching too much internet porn, and he thinks he’s god’s gift to MMA…This is a guy who got his arse kicked by two guys I smashed (Yoshihiro Akiyama and Jason Day) but he thinks he can not only beat me on a couple weeks’ training, but also assumed he was getting passed Okami, who is not to be underestimated. Anyway, now we don’t have to listen to this guy anymore. Back to the undercard, sunshine!”
Now, Bisping is fighting the very same man he just cursed to an eternity of curtain-jerking. That might be a tough pill to swallow, but Mike actually seems okay with the booking, tweeting today:
“Ok I’m back in ASAP like I wanted. To eradicate the mistake I made last week. April 27th vs belcher. Back on track!! Make no mistake!”
And so, the dependable cycle of Bisping beating a string of mid-level middleweights before falling short when a title shot is on the line begins once again. Does anybody think Belcher can pull off an upset here?
UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen goes down April 27th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will also feature Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo, Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy, and Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes.