Michael Bisping has been one of the UFC’s most consistent and prolific performers. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has once again charged Michael Bisping with carrying its flag into uncharted territory.
Bisping will lock horns with the resurgent Thales Leites in the UFC Fight Night 72 main event on Saturday at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, as the Las Vegas-based organization visits the European country for the first time in its 22-year history.
A former Cage Rage and Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder, Bisping last fought at UFC 186 on April 25, when he took a unanimous decision from C.B. Dollaway at the Bell Centre in Montreal. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner has alternated wins and losses in each of his past eight outings. Bisping, 36, has compiled a 16-7 record since arriving in the UFC in 2006, those 16 victories tying him for fourth on the promotion’s all-time list behind only Georges St. Pierre (19), Matt Hughes (18) and Anderson Silva (17).
Leites will carry an eight-fight winning streak into the cage. The 33-year-old Nova Uniao representative last competed at UFC 183 in January, when he turned out the lights on Tim Boetsch with a second-round arm-triangle choke at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Leites has secured 14 of his 25 career wins by submission.
With the Bisping-Leites middleweight clash on the marquee, here are 10 facts surrounding UFC Fight Night 72:
FACT 1: Bisping ranks second in UFC history with 1,170 significant strikes landed, according to FightMetric data. Only former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has connected on more (1,174).
FACT 2: When Leites steps inside the Octagon, a total of 1,799 days will have passed since his most recent defeat -- an August 2010 submission loss to onetime International Fight League titleholder Matt Horwich that he later avenged.
FACT 3: The six men who have defeated Evan Dunham -- Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, Rafael dos Anjos, T.J. Grant, Melvin Guillard and Sean Sherk -- own a cumulative record of 156-39-3.
FACT 4: Alliance MMA’s Ross Pearson turned away A.J. Wenn, Richie Whitson, Jason Dent and Andre Winner to win Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Pearson is the only fighter from the season still under contract with the UFC.
FACT 5: Irish lightweight Joseph Duffy sports eight submissions among his 13 career victories: four by rear-naked choke, three by triangle choke and one by arm-triangle choke. Current interim UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” winner Norman Parke are among his victims.
FACT 6: Only two of former Jungle Fight champion Ivan Jorge’s 30 professional bouts have taken place outside of his native Brazil.
FACT 7: Once-beaten Team Tiger Schulmann export Jimmie Rivera is one of 12 fighters to have won the King of the Cage flyweight title. Randy Steinke, Frankie Saenz, Marvin Garcia, Russell Doane, Frank Baca, Jared Papazian, Abel Cullum, Ryan Diaz, Manny Tapia, Del Hawkins and Shawn Ramage are the others.
FACT 8: Scotland will be the 12th different country in which Blackzilians rep Hans Stringer has competed, joining Brazil, the United States, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Japan, Romania, Lithuania, Italy and Belgium.
FACT 9: British journeyman Vaughan Lee boasts 29-, 64-, 66-, 68- and 89-second finishes on his resume.
FACT 10: Ilir Latifi’s pro debut against reigning World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion Blagoi Ivanov was cut short on May 17, 2008, when the ring broke just 55 seconds into their match at a Real Pain Challenge event in Bulgaria.