Widespread surprise greeted this week’s news that Michael Bisping’s next opponent would be Tim Boetsch and not Mark Munoz.
It had been expected that Bisping and Munoz would square off in a leading contenders fight to face the winner of the upcoming Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen rematch.
But this week it was announced that Boetsch, who put recent title challenger Yushin Okami away at UFC 144 last month, had been brought in to face Bisping next.
“I will be honest, I have never really looked at Mark Munoz and thought he looked like a particularly dangerous opponent,” Bisping told the ESPN UK podcast today.
“His ground and pound looks good, his wrestling doesn’t look all that dangerous, his stand up is suspect and he’s got a weak chin. I think Tim Boetsch is probably a harder fight.”
Bisping is also given to understand that a win puts him at the front of the contention queue and in line for a fight with the middleweight champion, whoever that might be at the time.
But the shadow of Dan Henderson still looms. Since beating Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua last year and being told a title shot awaits at either middleweight or light-heavyweight, Henderson has been sitting out for his opportunity.
He turned down a rematch with Rua - it was a very close fight - in favour of holding out for his title shot and it could be that the UFC brings him into the picture before Bisping can get a crack at the gold. If they do, the Brit welcomes the opportunity.
“I would 100 per cent be interested in a rematch. Made a lot of mistakes in the build-up to that fight and I have grown as a fighter,” he said of the man who handed him the first stoppage loss of his career back at UFC 100.