Bisping needs one to have any shot at a world title in the future. Leites needs one to keep his job, despite winning five in a row in the UFC. He probably wouldn’t be cut with a single loss but stranger things have happened. Despite Bisping being infinitely more popular and marketable, it’s the Brazilian who has already had his title shot – a, shall we say, lackluster affair with Anderson Silva.
And it’s not like Bisping has been a bad fighter or anything. He just hasn’t managed to win (or lose) more than one fight in a row for three years now. These things happen, especially when you fight good fighters. And he has. Sonnen (L), Stann (W), Belfort (L), Belcher (W), Kennedy (L), Le (W), Rockhold (L) and Dolloway (W). All of them were either top 5, top 10, top 15, or Cung Le.
Leites, and this is written while fully acknowledging that winning five in a row in the UFC (and eight in a row overall) is no easy feat, has faced: Ed Herman, Kong Watson, Trevor Smith, Francis Carmont, and Tim Boetsch. I wrote out their full names because if I didn’t you might not recognize them. And even with their full names you still might not. Not exactly a murder’s row of opponents.
This is why wins and losses can be deceiving.
Still, credit to Leites. He was cut by the UFC, it looked like his career had mostly peaked, but he stuck with it. Went out, fought on smaller shows, got his win streak going, got the call, and has made the most of it. Again, five wins in a row in the UFC, even if they are against guys with Full Names, isn’t easy. He’s also won all five in less than two years.
Neither guy will get a title shot with a win – barring a series of injuries to a bunch of fighters. Rockhold, Romero, and Jacare all stand ahead of these two. Still, Bisping is the UFC-Ranked #9 and Leites the UFC-Ranked #10 middleweight, so they’re “in the mix” as Dana White would say.
But if all three real contenders got injured/surprised by USADA, and they needed someone because it was the 5th show in four days – sure, the winner of this could get a title shot. So, there you go: Bisping vs. Leites for the #1 “on super short notice and after a series of terrible accidents” Contendership.
This somewhat looks like it should be good on paper, as Bisping fights usually are. Leites can shit the bed on occasion though. He can be passive and just weird. Off his back, Bisping’s only hope is to make sure he’s not on his back. If Leites gets regular takedowns, he should take Bisping apart. (Say it with me “arm-triangle choke.”) Standing, Bisping is the better striker but Leites may have a bit more power. Wrestling and all that? A wash. Bisping has good but not great takedown defense. Leites has good but not great takedown offense.
And that’s that. It takes place in Scotland. Scotland is not Bisping’s home. 55% of it is but 45% is not. And for a guy whose nickname derives from his Polish ancestry and who was born in Cyprus and who now lives in America, Bisping is pushing the British thing anyways.
As for the rest of the card…
Let’s hit the high points for this here UFC Scotland preview and then go find drugs and prostitues – as is the Glaswegian way:
- Joe Duffy: the last man to defeat Conor McGregor. But it isn’t like he’s in the UFC for only that reason. He’s good. Really good. Fantastic hands and his UFC debut in March was phenomenal. Nickname is “Irish Joe” so he’s a literal man which is all right with me.
- Joanne Calderwood: She was being groomed for a shot at the UFC’s Women’s Strawweight Title. Then she got tapped out by Maryna Moroz. Oops. She’s Scottish at least and has a charming personality. Nickname is not “Scottish Joanne.”
- Patrick Holohan: A Conor McGregor teammate. You will hear that repeated a bunch, I’m sure. Nickname is “Paddy” so he’s not trying.
- Vaughan Lee: British. Exciting. Beat KID Yamamoto once. He fights Holohan. He’s kind of good looking too. (This website gets gayer and gayer…)
- Ross Pearson vs. Evan Dunham: Should be a good lightweight scrap, as they say. A SCRAP! Dunham is a grinder. Pearson is a grinder. But Dunham grinds in the clinch and on the ground whereas Pearson is a striking grinder. The winner is still miles away from a lightweight title shot.
And that’s all really. It’s fighting. It’s a show on at 9am in America on a random Saturday so it’s just about as good of a card as one could realistically expect. Main-event is worth watching. Semi-main should be entertaining. And hopefully Calderwood wins and looks like she did before her last fight, when she just … sucked. There are worse ways to spend your Saturday mornings. (Like with family.)