UFC Fight Night 48 Preview

004—006 FNM2014 Poster v2Michael Bisping has been a trailblazer in the UFC as one of the first true superstars from Britain to have success in the promotion. It has not been the easiest road for the Brit in the past few years though as injuries and losses have piled up leaving Bisping in a bit of a no-man’s land. It is not the best place for a fighter to be as that place in the UFC is a place where moving up and down is hard. This position is where fighters go when they are too good to be a bottom tier fighter yet cannot put together enough wins to move into title conversation. That is where Bisping finds himself now as he is clearly one of the better fighters in the UFC and yet he has failed to prove it in the last few years. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Bisping has not been able to put a lot of fights together in general. In 2013 Bisping suffered an eye injury that kept him out for almost a year. It was an injury that ended the chance for Bisping to build on a number of wins in a new division. With these wins he was building a case for moving into title contention and a match against Mark Munoz was a chance for him to move further up in the middleweight division. The eye injury ended the chance at moving up and his almost year-long layoff put him in this strange position that he is still trying to get out of. In his return to the octagon in April Bisping suffered a loss to Tim Kennedy only hurting his chances of returning to his rise up the middleweight division. Now he will travel to Macao as the UFC returns to China with Bisping in the main event. His opponent will be a crowd favourite in China in action star and MMA veteran Cung Le. Bisping will need to have a big win in this fight in hopes that it can put his middleweight career back on track after a tumultuous few years. That is easier said than done though as Le is a true MMA veteran that has been fighting since 2006 and has been fighting in the UFC since 2011. The action star is a martial artist first and is one of the more experienced fighters in the UFC. Yet almost two years of inactivity has put him out of the rankings in the division. With acting roles and a spot as a mentor in The Ultimate Fighter China Le has not fought since UFC on FUEL TV 6 when he beat Rich Franklin via a first round KO. Without a fight in the last two years Le is a bit of an unknown coming into the fight as he was already an aging fighter that many thought was more concentrated on his acting career than MMA. Now he enters the octagon looking to begin a run up the middleweight division at the expense of Bisping. The two fighters are from very different backgrounds but both prefer to keep the fight standing. A Shanshou black sash and kickboxing champion, Le is a stand up fighter that prefers to use his feet to keep fighters on the outside before going for the knockout. Meanwhile in true British fashion Bisping is a boxer with heavy hands and the ability to KO anyone with the right punch. This fight should be a stand-up battle between two different strategies as Bisping will look to get on the inside and box while Le will try to keep him on the outside and pick his spot to earn the KO. Either way the fight may be headed to a knockout the question is just who will earn it. Both have not been the most active fighters in the last few years but neither have taken enough time off for ring rust to set in for this fight. That being said Le may have a bit more of an adjustment being off for two years and Bisping is in need of a big win that he will get with a third round KO.

As the UFC returns to China for the second time this year it is only appropriate that they deal with some unfinished business. The last time the UFC travelled to Macao they featured the finals of the first ever TUF: China. That card was lacking something though as an injury to one of the featherweight finalist had forced the featherweight finale to be cancelled. Jianping Yang and Guangyou Ning were forced to wait it out for the UFC to schedule their match to earn a contract in the UFC. As the UFC returns to Macao that time has finally come for both fighters as the Featherweight Finale will take place at UFC Fight Night 48. Yang was the injured fighter last time and since his stint on the show he has recovered enough to take another fight. His last fight in Kunlun Fight 5 was another win for Yang and another finish. Throughout the show Yang displayed his ability to fight on the ground and earn finishes as he will try to do the same thing in the finale. His opponent will be looking to do it a little different as Ning is a wrestler with great ground and pound. The fight is likely to find its way to the mat as both fighters look to take the advantage where they are comfortable. As Ning and Yang face-off there is plenty to fight for despite the fact that they are far removed from the reality show they are still fighting for a UFC contract. It is the chance of a lifetime for both fighters to continue the careers and now they finally get the chance to earn that contract.

Fight Card

Main Event:
Cung Le vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping

Main Card:
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Dong “Stun Gun” Hyun Kim

Lipeng “The Warrior” Zhang vs. Brendan “Badger” O’Reilly

Jianping Yang vs. Guangyou “Smasher” Ning [TUF China Featherweight Title]

Undercard:
Danny “The Cheesecake Assassin” Mitchell vs. Wang “The Boss” Sai

Alberto “Soldier of God” Mina vs. Shinsho “Animal” Anzai

“Stunning” Roland Delorme vs. Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki

Colby Covington vs. Anying “Smiling” Wang

Elizabeth Phillips vs. Milana Dudieva

Royston Wee vs. Zhikui Yao

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