In the cage or out of it, UFC middleweight Michael Bisping is not one to shy away from expressing himself. As an analyst for Fox Sports for this week's UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva, the brash Brit is supremely in his element.
It's a role he relishes.
“I'm an expert in the field of mixed martial arts. The amount of time I've dedicated to this, I could have gone off and become bloody brain surgeon,” Bisping told MMAWeekly.com earlier this week. “I'm an expert in this field. And on top of that, I'm a huge fan. I've done martial arts since I was eight years old. So when I'm not preparing for a fight, I'm setting at home watching the fights or reading about them on websites, you name it; I'm a bit of a nerd like that.”
MMAWeekly.com spoke with Bisping about some of the UFC Fight Night 40 bouts, and true to his nerdy core, Bisping gave us the inside scoop on how he says Saturday night's fights going down.
Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva
Brown and Silva are both very talented on the feet and when you get success on your feet like that, that's kind of what you like to stick with.
Silva coming off of a great knockout in his last fight, and, of course, Matt Brown, I think he's on a six-fight win streak right now. And a lot of those are stoppages as well.
Matt Brown, he's just aggression. He's never moving backwards, super aggressive, punches, kicks, great submissions, never a boring fight. Obviously, Erick Silva is very dangerous as well.
Whilst I fancy Matt Brown's aggression against his former opponents, and that will serve him well in this fight, he's got to be careful to not be too aggressive and walk onto the end of a punch or a kick from Erick Silva.
It's gonna be fireworks. It's gonna be a great main event, and I can't wait to watch it.
It's a difficult (fight to predict). Erick Silva is a 2-to-1 favorite with the bookies; I'm not sure I agree with that. You've got Matt Brown coming off a six-fight win streak. He's coming in there with a lot of confidence. I think part of his game is mental, and a six-fight win streak is a six-fight win streak. I'm leaning towards Matt Brown in this fight. I just think his aggression, he's a little bit bigger, he's a very strong individual, hits hard, and I just think he's a little meaner.
But as I said, Erick Silva is no walk in the park. I'm leaning towards Matt Brown if I was a betting man, but who knows.
If Matt Brown wins on Saturday night, a seven-fight win streak; I think that would be the longest win streak in the division. For him to be overlooked as a title challenger is crazy. If he does a great job on Erick Silva on Saturday night, then I think it's certainly a No. 1 contender match-up or, if not, a title fight.
Costa Philippou vs. Lorenz Larkin
Both of these guys can actually strike. Lorenz is a great kickboxer and Philippou is a Golden Gloves boxing champion. So I don't think we're gonna see too many takedowns in this one.
They're both coming off of losses. Philippou has lost two in a row. Lorenz lost his last one. Lorenz lost his last one due to inactivity really because he kind of held back a little. He didn't pull the trigger. I train with Lorenz extensively, and he's guilty of doing that a little bit in training. But I know he's been working hard to overcome that and certainly when we were sparring, he was being very aggressive in attacking. When Lorenz does decide to pull the trigger, he's a handful to deal with and he certainly has potential to be one of the top guys in the division.
This is the co-main event, but this is gonna be a very, very exciting match-up of two big, hard, strong middleweights that like to bang. Do not miss this one.
Philippou I think had a nice little win streak of about five in a row. He was primed as a potential candidate for a title shot at one point. Obviously, he lost two in a row. He's slipped back a little bit.
Lorenz, as I said, I've trained with him extensively. I know he has the potential, he has the size… Lorenz is an incredible athlete. He's super explosive. He's so explosive, it's ridiculous. His striking is very, very good. He's hard to take down, and he has great submission defense on the ground, as well. Lorenz is the full package.
Obviously, I have a little favoritism going towards Lorenz, as I know him as a friend. I believe Lorenz will get the job done, but it will be an exciting fight, back and forth.
The Best of the Rest
I think Daron Cruickshank and Erik Koch, hardcore fans know who they are, casual fans may not be too familiar with them, but let me tell you this, both of those guys are super aggressive, they have knockout power, and that's definitely a Fight of the Night candidate.
Also, on the Fox Sports 2 prelims, you've got Rafael Natal, who his last time out was a main event, and he's fighting TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman. Ed Herman, most fans will know who he is, been around the UFC forever, fought a who's who of MMA, and certainly a very well-rounded fighter. That's a great one to watch.
Every fight on the card is one not to miss.
UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva airs live on Saturday night on Fox Sports 1 from the U.S Bank Arena.