BIRMINGHAM, England -- Tension was in the air during the official weigh-ins for Saturday's UFC 89 as Michael Bisping and Chris Leben tipped the scales under the 185-pound limit for their main event encounter.
Bisping looked to be in fantastic shape for this bout and seemed to be full of confidence. Leben by contrast was quiet and confident.
He apologized in addressing the crowd, "I'm sorry for coming over and ruining your guys' big hope and dream. I know you love him, but I didn't come all this way to lose. One of us will take a step back and the other a step forward; there isn't too many ahead of us now."
This appeared to infuriate Bisping even more, who retorted, "You're right, one forward and one down. I am moving forward. You underestimate me and I think that is a mistake. May the best man win and I will see you tomorrow night."
Massive cheers greeted Paul Kelly as he tipped the scales at 169 looking in phenomenal shape. His cheers were almost matched by the boos Marcus Davis received from the crowd moments earlier.
Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou was shredded as he stepped on the scales, making opponent Luiz Cane looked positively lean by comparison. Sokoudjou was all business, no jokes, no smiles; just pure serious intent.
Finally, Dan Hardy and Akihiro Gono exchanged hairdressing tips as the Japanese came out with lairy hairdo and bling. Hardy had his trademark Mohawk. Between the two you could have thought you had walked in on a hair fashion show about to square off.
Michael Bisping (185) vs. Chris Leben (186) Brandon Vera (203) vs Keith Jardine (205) Paul Kelly (169) vs. Marcus Davis (169) Thierry Rameau Sokoudjou (205) vs. Luiz Cane (206) Paul Taylor (170) vs. Chris Lytle (170) Dan Hardy (169) vs. Akihiro Gono (171) Shane Carwin (264) vs. Neil Wain (254) Jess Liaudin (155) vs. David Beilkheden (155) Sam Stout (155) vs. Terry Etim (155) David Baron (155) vs. Jim Miller (155) Per Eklund (156) vs. Samy Schiavo (156)