NEWARK, N.J. – Michael Bisping and Rashad Evans square off in the main event of UFC 78 at the Prudential Center in a light heavyweight pairing of winners on The Ultimate Fighter. Here is what each man must do to win:
Keys to victory
1. Stay standing: The fight completely favors Evans when it hits the ground.
1. Give angles: Evans has a tendency to square up while on his feet, a mistake he can't afford against Bisping.
2. Hook off the jab: Evans will be ready for a piston-like jab, but Bisping has to add in a hook that could catch Evans unaware.
2. Work on the floor: Evans undoubtedly will get Bisping down, but he needs to try to improve his position and not just keep him pinned.
3. Scramble: If he's taken down, Bisping needs to scramble as quickly as possible to get back to his feet.
3. Cut kicks: Evans can disrupt Bisping's standup by kicking at his legs.
4. Use his kicks: Bisping is a powerful kicker who needs to use his legs to keep Evans at a distance.
4. Start early: Evans was cautious against Tito Ortiz early; he needs to start quickly and put Bisping on the defensive, forcing Bisping to back up.
Rating the fighters
Comparison of Michael Bisping and Rashad Evans
Evans is improving rapidly with his hands.
Evans wrestled at the Division I college level.
Evans' head kick to Sean Salmon was spectacular.
Bisping is a strong finisher.
Matt Hamill repeatedly took Bisping down.
Evans was able to withstand blows from heavyweights.
The fight is unlikely to end in submission.
Each man can go hard for five minutes a round.
Evans is powerful once he gets his hands on someone.
Bisping is determined to erase the doubts created in the Hamill fight.
Bisping is a light heavyweight who can make middleweight; Evans is a light heavyweight who used to fight at heavyweight. Size is going to be an issue, and Evans figures to take Bisping down and stop him late via ground and pound.