Michael Bisping looks to end struggles against Top 15 competition at UFC Fight Night 84

25 Feb , 2016,
Richard Mann

Michael Bisping has had an impressive career in the UFC since winning the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” His quarterly ranking peaked at #5 in middleweight division in 2013. He is currently listed as #21 all-time in the weight class. However, he has struggled when facing higher level competition. On Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 84, he faces Anderson Silva. The former champion might be nearing the end of his career, but he is still one of the 15 best middleweights on the planet.

In his last 18 fights, Bisping has faced nine fighters ranked in the top 15 and another nine ranked below. Against competition ranked below #15, he went 9-0. Against fighters in the top 15, he went only 3-6.

Bisping vs. Sub 15

Opponent Date Contemporary Fight Matrix Ranking W/L
Day 6/7/2008 41 W
Leben 10/18/2008 17 W
Kang 11/14/2009 30 W
Dan Miller 5/29/2010 33 W
Akiyama 10/16/2010 36 W
Rivera 2/27/2011 27 W
Mayhem 12/3/2011 42 W
Belcher 4/27/2013 17 W
Le 8/23/2014 17 W

Bisping vs. Top 15

Opponent Date Contemporary Fight Matrix Ranking W/L
Henderson 7/11/2009 7 L
Silva 2/20/2010 12 L
Sonnen 1/28/2012 2 L
Stann 9/22/2012 14 W
Belfort 1/19/2013 5 L
Kennedy 4/16/2014 11 L
Rockhold 11/7/2014 6 L
Dollaway 4/25/2015 12 W
Leites 7/18/2015 8 W

The difference between the two stretches further from simple wins and losses. Against higher ranked fighters, his striking performance has suffered as well. To measure striking performance, the StrikeScore formula was applied to his last 18 fights. The following charts shows the breakdown of striking performance over that stretch.

Michael Bisping StrikeScore (Last 18 Bouts)

At the height of the UFC’s push into the U.K., it appears as if they wanted nothing less than to host a Silva-Bisping title fight in England. Unfortunately, Bisping was never able to earn that title shot. Saturday’s main event is not for the title. If Bisping can score a victory, it will likely be the biggest of his career. However, in order for that to happen, he must break his career-long trend of struggling against better opposition.

Richard Mann currently runs the data-driven MMA blog StrikeScoreMMA.com