• UFC 152

Bisping commands the respect of Jon Jones

ESPN staff
September 20, 2012

Jon Jones will watch his team-mate Brian Stann take on Michael Bisping at UFC 152 this weekend, insisting Bisping has "all my respect" despite a recent light-hearted dig he received from the Brit.

Jones headlines this Saturday's card against Vitor Belfort, but he will have one eye on one of the night's earlier bouts, with Stann and Bisping trading mitts in what could be a No. 1 contender bout in the middleweight division.

Bisping has fought in the UFC for the past six years, regularly getting to No. 1 contender fights without ever challenging for the belt. If he beats Stann, he may finally get his wish to fight Anderson Silva.

"Michael Bisping is a phenomenal fighter, he's someone who can be misunderstood, but I respect how long he's been at the top of the food chain for a number of years now," Jones told ESPN. "He has all my respect.

"His chances of being UFC champ? That's up to him. How bad does he want it? How much is he willing to perform?"

Looking at the fight itself, Jones did not want to call a winner. In his eyes, both men are strong on their feet and it will come down to who has prepared best on the night.

"He's fighting my team-mate Brian Stann, it's going to be a great fight, Brian's a phenomenal stand-up fighter, Bisping likes to kickbox so it's going to be a great fight. You don't want to miss it."

Bisping recently risked angering Jones when he pointed out on Twitter that he had fought Chael Sonnen on eight days' notice, unlike Jones who turned him down. Bisping later told ESPN it was only a bit of banter, but Jones pointed out one fact the Brit failed to mention in his tweet.

"I saw the tweet, Mike said he accepted the fight on eight days' notice, but he also lost the fight on eight days' notice. So it's the perfect example of why I shouldn't have taken the fight with Chael."

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