North-West UFC middleweight Michael Bisping will square off against American Brian Stann at UFC 152 in Toronto in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Victory for Bisping, who has long been the standard bearer for mixed martial arts in the UK, will put him on the cusp of a title-shot against middleweight king Anderson Silva.
Speaking to the ESPN UFC Podcast this week, Bisping admits he is well aware of what is at stake.
“If I can get the job done I should be looking a title shot sometime soon. Joe Silva (UFC matchmaker) said if I put a good performance on then he can fill a fight with Anderson Silva,” Bisping said.
Bisping suffered a narrow defeat in his last outing to fellow middleweight contender Chael Sonnen. However the close nature of the fight and the fact he took it on eight days notice after an injury to Mark Munoz mean the loss did little to diminish Bisping’s standing in the division.
The highly popular Stann, a decorated former member of the US Marine Corps, will provide a stiff test for Bisping. He has a 12-4 record with nine of his victories coming by KO or TKO which is a testament to his power in the striking department.
Bisping looks to the superior skill-set on paper and is confident his ability to adapt inside the Octagon will be the key to victory.
“Against all my opponents, I look to go out there and trade punches with them and that’s what I’ll do but I have got a big advantage in the wrestling and jiu-jitsu departments and I’ll be a fool not to try and exploit that as well.”
Bisping and Stann are part of a bumper card at UFC 152 during which two titles will also be on the line.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones defends his title against Brazilian, Vitor Belfort, and Joseph Benavidez will square off against Demetrius Johnson for the right to be crowned the inaugural UFC flyweight champion.
Coverage of UFC 152 begins at 3:00AM, September 23 on ESPN.