November 13, 2009

When a heavily promoted fighter stumbles in their quest for a title, their subsequent fight is generally against a weaker opponent, a rebound fight.

With the amount of time, money and effort placed into promoting Michael "The Count" Bisping, it would appear to most American fans that Bisping got exactly that.

What most of these fans don't know is that the Denis "The Super Korean" Kang that they all saw against Xavier Foupa-Pokam, wasn't the same Denis Kang who has won more than 30 fights in his career.

Before landing a spot on the UFC's roster, Kang fought in well-known promotions across the seas, including: Pancrase, M-1, Spirit MC, Pride FC, and K-1.

While the first 15 fights of his career resulted in a meager 7-7-0-1 NC record, Kang bounced back strong, finding himself on a 23-fight unbeaten streak.

Even after his loss to Kazuo Misaki, Kang was considered one of the top middleweight fighters in the world.

However, things quickly changed and Kang fell back into obscurity, compiling a 4-3 record since the loss. But this should not be enough to throw Kang into the "puncher's chance" category.

Those three losses came to very tough opponents who, depending on who you ask, are in the top 10 of their respected divisions: Yoshihiro Akiyama, GegardMousasi and Alan Belcher. In each of these three fights, Kang appeared to be in control before making a slight mistake, where his skilled opponents exploited the flaw and secured the victory.

This is often one of the major factors in determining a victor for the fight, how well can you capitalize on your opponent's mistakes?

Kang, like Bisping and many other fighters, has been on both the winning and losing end of this scenario. On Saturday, Kang is surprisingly favored to win this fight, according to sportbet's website, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world is on board with this prediction. In fact, it seems to be the opposite.

In the eyes of some Americans, and a majority of British fight fans, Bisping is going to walk away from this fight with a big grin on his face and another mark in his win column. Maybe these people should do a little more research into Kang before they start making their assessments. Then they would see that Kang's all-around game is only a step behind the likes of Nate Marquardt.

His boxing is a deadly mix of quick, crisp, clean shots and brutal, wild, looping punches. His kicking and footwork are often over-looked because of his hands. He also finds his opponent's timing and rhythm quickly, usually shooting for a quick take-down shortly thereafter. If he isn't being too aggressive, Kang is also able to keep his opponent on their back, which will be a must against Bisping. Once on the ground, Kang has a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, which has helped him earn 15 victories with a submission finish.

And to top it off, Kang also trains at American Top Team, meaning he is working with the likes of Thiago Silva, Thiago Alves, J.Z. Calvacante, Luis Cane, Mike Thomas Brown and Ben Saunders. Not a bad group of training partners.

So to all of those who think a victory for Bisping is as sure as the sun rising in the morning, don't write Kang off just yet.

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