Top light heavyweight and TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping will face another TUF 3 castmember, Matt Hammill, when the UFC returns to England later this year. The event will prominently feature European fighters including Bisping, who is from the country.
Bisping rose to fame after appearing on the reality show eventually winning the light heavyweight competition of season 3 with a win over Josh Haynes. At UFC 66 Bisping continued to cement his status as a top fighter in the division defeating Eric Schafer. Next he fought Elvis Sinosic at the UFC’s first event from England this year, UFC 70. The fight drew much ire from fan who felt Sinosic couldn’t challenge Bisping and was essentially chosen to lose to give the hometown favorite an easy win. The fans criticism was confirmed when he TKO’d Sinosic in the second round.
Although the fight is being touted as a rematch on Ticketmaster the two fighters have yet to meet in a match after Hamill was taken off the show by medical staff due to an injury. Hamill, a member of team Punishement posted wins over Jesse Forbes and Seth Petruzelli before defeating UFC newcomer Rex Holman in his last fight at UFC 68.
Since the win Hamill has been vocal in expressing his displeasure for Bisping and his wishes to have a fight with the UFC star. The feelings aren’t entirely unwarranted. Bisping has risen to UFC stardom due to his win on The Ultimate Fighter 3 while Hamill never recieved a shot at the contract (or Bisping) after he was forced to withdraw from the competition.
Although the fight will in all likelihood be criticized by many MMA fans I have to admit I am not too disappointed with the news of this fight. Unlike Sinosic, Hamill has a successful UFC record including his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. One of the biggest criticisms by many fans is that Hamill’s background as a collegiate wrestler leads to him controlling much of the fight on the ground resulting in what many would describe as “boring” boring fights although he has just one decision compared to 2 TKOs. Bisping on the other hand likes to stand and trade punches as evidenced by his 9 knockouts as opposed to 4 submissions and no decisions on his sparkling clean 13-0 record. The fight will be a contrast of styles and although it will not necessarily be a big step up in competition that many fans wanted Hamill should present a good challenge to Bisping in the bout.
Based on the events other rumored fights including a light heavyweight title fight between “Rampage Jackson” and Dan Henderson as well as a heavyweight fight between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Cheick Kongo it is safe to assume that this fight will be broadcast on PPV live around 3 pm eastern in similar fashion to this weekends UFC 72 PPV.