A last minute change to January 28th’s ‘UFC On FOX 2’ show will pit Michael Bisping against Chael Sonnen, and the two notorious trash-talkers have wasted no time in beginning a war of words.
In a press release to announce the fight which will decide the next No.1 contender at 185, Bisping states that Sonnen has, “been kicked out of politics, he has been kicked out of the real estate business, and I am going to kick him out of the middleweight division.”
Of course Sonnen had some choice words for the Brit in return, and insists that the main event between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis will be playing second fiddle to his latest Octagon outing.
“This isn’t the new co-main, because I sold all the tickets. This is the new main event. I am going to knock the teeth out of this snot-nosed Brit who calls a Count. I am MMA royalty and America will tune into the Chael Sonnen show next Saturday on FOX.”
Removing himself briefly from the verbal jousting, Bisping told MMAJunkie earlier today that he sees this last minute change of opponent as a good thing.
“I’ve accepted fights on short notice for the UFC throughout my career, but this one is a massive, massive chance for me, and I am very grateful to Dana, Joe Silva, and the UFC,” Bisping said. “I was already hugely grateful to be asked to fight on FOX, but to fight Chael on FOX … well, there are hundreds of fighters who would kill for this opportunity, and I would have had to be a fool to turn it down.”
He also sees Sonnen as an opponent who’s skill-set doesn’t pose too much of a threat to the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
“A fight is a fight, and at this level anything can happen, but all things being equal, Chael Sonnen cannot knock me out. He can’t submit me, either. The worst that is going to happen is that he will outpoint me and, if I don’t beat him, I didn’t deserve a title-shot against Anderson Silva anyway,” Bisping claimed.
Meanwhile you may be surprised to hear that Sonnen has actually also had some nice things to say about Bisping.
“I think it’s really relevant, especially for the Bisping naysayers, to realize he’s fighting main-event fights,” Sonnen said in an interview with USAToday after the fight was announced. “He’s carrying cards. He’s selling out arenas. In this industry, that’s huge. He’s done his part.
So I’m not on the anti-Bisping bandwagon. I never have been.”
Having said that, back in 2010 Sonnen wasn’t quite so charitable with his thoughts on ‘The Count’.
“I’ll tell ya if Michael Bisping ever addresses me in public again I’ll bury him where he stands,” he declared in an interview with Ariel Helwani.