CLITHEROE MMA fighter Michael Bisping has vowed to exploit Chael Sonnen’s weaknesses ahead of their UFC middleweight title eliminator on Saturday.
The 32-year-old has been mixing it with Jiu-Jitsu specialists such as Jake Shields and Dean Lister in preparation for the biggest fight of his career.
And the reasoning for that specific focus is due to Sonnen falling victim to submissions in eight of his 11 defeats.
Bisping, who has 23 wins to his name from 26 bouts, was due to face Demian Maia with the winner moving on to face Sonnen or Mark Munoz before getting a shot at the middleweight title.
But with Munoz forced to withdraw from the bout through injury, Bisping jumped the queue.
Victory in Chicago would then pave the way for a shot at Anderson Silva’s belt.
“Chael’s biggest weapon is his mouth – but this isn’t a kissing contest and he isn’t going to talk me to death,” said Bisping.
“Unlucky for him he can’t hurt me with his mouth in the Octagon and I am going to crush him. I’m in my prime and this is my time…
“His wrestling skills will be on point, I’m going to get the best Chael Sonnen possible, I know that.
“But his jiu-jitsu wont be too slick. Chael Sonnen can take me down if he likes, because I know I can submit him off my back.
“I know I can. That’s his big weakness. I may not have a black belt, but I consider myself a black belt.
“I’ve been rolling with Jake Shields, Dean Lister and a wash of other world champions.
“Believe me, if Chael Sonnen takes me down he better be prepared to get submitted.”
He added: “Working with these guys recently, these top level jiu-jitsu guys, has really brought on my game and I am so comfortable on my back right now.
“In the past I have stood fights up a lot but the way I am training right now, I will be delighted if Chael takes me down. If he does, then it will be a short night for him.”
With two of the sport’s most polarising fighters going head-to-head, the match-up has been dubbed the greatest inter-continental villain versus villain contest in UFC history.