UFC 159 Co-Main Event Features Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher

January 30, 2013
37 Comments

Michael Bisping - UFC on Fox 2Two men than were both zeroing in on a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will now instead face each other in the co-main event of UFC 159 on April 27 in New Jersey.

Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will both look to repair the damage done by recent losses when they square off at UFC 159. UFC officials confirmed the fight first reported by ESPN on Wednesday.

Bisping (23-5) was stung the worst by his loss to Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on FX 7 earlier this month. His career has been centered on the UFC title, and he had been guaranteed the next shot at Silva had he won.

One stunning head kick later and Bisping was on the mat and out of title contention.

Belcher (18-7) was nearing that same position, returning from injury with a masterful performance against Rousimar Palhares. That victory put him on a four-fight winning streak and one or two wins away from the coveted shot at the belt.

Yushin Okami put a halt to Belcher’s streak, closing out Belcher’s 2012 with a loss at UFC 155.

Both men are now in rebuild mode, so a win in this fight will be crucial to either one getting back in the title mix any time over the next year or two.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones headlines UFC 159, putting his belt on the line against fellow Ultimate Fighter 17 coach Chael Sonnen.

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

  • BarrysHypocrisy

    Can hardly wait until Bisping starts whining about getting his title shot again……

    • bajafox

      In t-minus 5…4…3…2…

  • trupert

    With Belcher-Bisping, you’d have to think Munoz vs Boetsch will be made and Rich Franklin serves as injury-replacement (as always) if he is even still thinking about fighting again.

    • Gary Fredericks

      @trupert….Makes the most sense to me. Make total sense actually. I like the idea of Belcher-Bisping anyhow, and Munoz-Boetcsh should be a fun fight.

    • Oswald Cobblepott

      Why are they still giving Bisping main events? No matter how much they try he is still B list.

      • Crash

        Because he always promotes his fights well, he’s one of the UFC’s biggest draws in monetary terms and his fights are very rarely boring. If Bisping is ‘B-List’, I wish the UFC had more ‘B-List’ fighters.

      • Jeff Rosenberg

        Cause he is from the UK and they want to promote the UFC there ! jeez

        • El Gvapo

          Totally ignorant comment. There are no PPVs in the UK so there’s no extra sales to be had. The market is tiny compared to other nations. Why the hell haven’t they given Stungun or the Korean Zombie a headline fight, their domestic market is enormous in comparison? Or any French, German, Japanese, Italian fighters? These countries have bigger populations than the UK but the UFC choose not to chase these markets?

  • Cereal Killer

    How is Bisping even mentioned for title contention? He hasn’t beaten a single fighter ranked in the top ten except Stann! In fact, all of his losses are to top ranked fighters; Belfort, Sonnen, W.Silva, Henderson and Evens. Looking back, Stann hasn’t beaten a single top fighter either.

    • Kris-tyahn

      True, true & true! Just goes to show how “stacked”/pathetic the MW division is. Also, Bisping chokes every time he has to beat/win the “big fight”. I’m not sure why Bisping would have gotten a title shot in the 1st place? B/C he beat Stann & Belfort – who are the only 2 fighters ranked in the top 10 he has beaten in 6 yrs. WTF? But Weidman beat 2 top 5 ranked MW’s in Maia & Munoz in less than a year & doesn’t get a title fight?!? I’ll take Weidman’s resume over Bispings ANY DAY. Bisping has beaten a lot of cans, and lost to world class competition EVERY time. His 5 losses were to 4 former Champs & Sonnen who embaressed Silva 6 of 7 rounds. No shame in losing to those 5 fighters, but not being able to beat world class oposition is pathetic & sad to think Bisping would have gotten a title fight with such a terrible resume of wins over “no names” besides Stann.

      • gfsq

        don’t you guys have better things to do than rewrite bisping’s wiki page? how about the fact he was on par with sonnen who got two shots at anderson? he s a top MW and thats it

        • BarrysHypocrisy

          On par with Sonnen? Sonnen beat Bisping, remember……..

          Bisping is a gatekeeper. He does well against the other B-level fighters, but loses when he faces the top guys.

          Anderson Silva would straight up murder him.

          • kbroesq

            I’m guessing he said ‘on par’ with Sonnen because the fight was so close that many people thought Bisping won. Bisping is legit, and it never ceases to amaze me all the people who say the MWD is pathetic. How does anyone know that? Because none of the fighters can put win streaks together? That doesn’t mean the fighters suck; in fact, it could mean the exact opposite. It could mean that all the fighters at MW are so good that they cannot consistently beat each other. You really can’t know, because the MWD doesn’t have an established ‘second in command’ like Kos, Fitch, Condit, etc.

          • El Gvapo

            Sense at last.

          • Brian

            Great point … well said!

        • Brian

          Top yes, #1 contender = no

      • IdiotsEverywhere

        “His losses were to 4 former champs and Sonnen….no shame in losing to those 5 fighters”…next sentence…”but not being able to beat world class opposition is pathetic”. You, sir, are a f***ing idiot.

      • El Gvapo

        Not being able to beat world class opposition is pathetic?!? What the hell is this world coming to? I think this is the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard. So 95% of mma fighters are pathetic?!? Just unbelievable.

  • Tiddy28

    Alright Michael, let’s get a new streak going and get that title shot! Looking forward to this fight though!

  • Mark McDowall

    You want the truth…NO ONE @ 185 deserves a title shot at this exact moment in time. BUT, Chances are that Weidman will get the next one.

    Bisping lost his #1 contender status against Vitor. Vitor will just loose again. Weidman has beaten 2 VERY questionably ranked contenders. Okami needs to put together a couple wins against top contenders. Belcher not even worth mentioning.

    The rest of the division is pretty far out of it IMO.

    Bring on the fan boys…

    • Lucas Freire

      Agreed. Munoz is pure hype,and Maia…Even though he defeated Sonnen,he had no other high ranked win. And his fight against AS? A joke, Just like Thales Leites.

      • bajafox

        Maia is at 170

        • Lucas Freire

          His victory over Maia is one of the reasons he’s proclaiming himself as #1 contender

          • Mark McDowall

            Thats not the best reason in the world to argue you deserve a title shot IMO.

          • Lucas Freire

            Exactly.
            Other than Maia and Munoz what Weidman has? A win against Sakara or Tom Lawlor? lol

    • MuayThaiFood

      While I agree with most of what you say I don’t understand how you can just dismiss Vitor out of hand like that. You think Okami’s chances are better? Vitor has finished everyone he’s fought at middleweight since back in the UFC. Whoever the next title shot goes to better be able to walk through the rest of the competition or he stands little chance of beating Anderson. Even then, that guarantees nothing. These guys that are worried about fighting one or two more times before they get their title shot for fear of being knocked down the ladder don’t have what it takes to beat Silva IMO. I’m not saying Vitor is the guy right now but if he keeps taking out top guys decisively then he deserves consideration for another shot.

      • Sir_Roy

        Agreed. Vitor is looking strong these days.

      • Mark McDowall

        I agree…Vitor is looking strong. But would you really pay $55 to your cable providor to see that fight again? Thats why he won’t get another shot.

    • Jeff Rosenberg

      Anderson Silva == GOAT. thats all you need to know !

    • Brian

      I know I’ll have some haters, but I don’t believe that Bisping was truly ever a number one contender…sorry – and I don’t mind Bisping at all.

  • Madmmax

    Belcher ran into a tough grinder in Okami, who would do the same to Bisping, and a lot of these other guys. I like Belcher

    • Madmmax

      Against Bisping that is

  • bkdaicon

    Yeah way to go ufc drop the ball again for the millionth time. Have the belt tied up so long that deserving title contenders eventually lose then put them in the fight we should have had as a title elimintator. This fight should have already happened and bisping should have gotten his ass handed to him by silva a while ago.

  • Jeff Rosenberg

    2 losers fighting. Who cares. Belcher was exposed with no tdd. Bisping exposed for no chin and lousy defense against a top tier striker like Vitor. lol

  • Tom

    Please no more about Bisping. He is a brit. loser and Dana keeps trying to make him a winner. He need to go into knitting or painting or something like that. Please no more about this girly-boy !!!!!

  • drkdisciple

    I really like this match-up. Bisping talked plenty of smack about Belcher and now we get to see if he can back it up!

  • Brian

    I think Vitor Belfort should get another opportunity … he beat the number one contender and it was probabaly the best KO of all time he lossed against … but fluke KO, give him the shot!! Although, he didn’t call out Anderson Silva, he called out Chael Sonnen basically so I don’t know what to think about that?!?