Kenny Florian and Michael Bisping offered up their thoughts on tonight’s UFC Fight Night 58 main and co-main events during a recent episode of “UFC Tonight.”
The card, which airs on FOX Sports 1, features Lyoto Machida vs. C.B. Dollaway and Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon. It goes down from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Bisping, a member of the middleweight division with Machida and Dollaway, believes wrestling will be the key for both fighters in the main event.
“Machida moved down to 185 because he was getting outwrestled by the bigger guys. He’s an incredible striker,” Bisping said. “He’s knocked out some of the best like Randy Couture and Rashad Evans among others. He’s one of the true elite.
“C.B., coming from the wrestling background, is going to try take him down, but he can’t walk into one of those counters. He’s a decorated wrestler. C.B. has to get his hands on Machida, push him against the fence and take him down.”
Florian contended for the UFC title before retiring, splitting his time now as host of the show and doing color commentary for a number of events.
“Machida is a brilliant counter-striker and what makes him such a puzzle for so many guys is his footwork. He moves so well. He can strike going back,” he said. “Two guys had a good game plan against Machida: Shogun went out and cut off the cage and used leg kicks. The other was Chris Weidman, who pressured him with the wrestling and the striking. Dollaway has the wrestling to do that.”
As for the co-headliner between Barao, a former UFC bantamweight champion, and Gagnon, Bisping feels motivation will play the ultimate factor.
“Barao’s unbelievable fighter, but he lost some stock since losing the title and missing weight for his next fight,” he said. “He has great knockouts and great submissions. He’s coming into this very motivated. But Gagnon is a beast. He’s a submission machine and will bring a tough test to Barao.
“But I think it’ll be a third round TKO for Barao.”