Every Wednesday, The MMA Corner’s Duncan Price will bring a view of the MMA world from across the pond in England, covering well-known British fighters within the UFC and Strikeforce, and also looking at significant events put on by British promotions within the borders of the United Kingdom.

Bisping replaces Munoz, faces Sonnen

A British fighter may get a title shot sooner than we thought.

UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that an injury has forced Mark Munoz to withdraw from his planned UFC on FOX 2 bout with Chael Sonnen. His loss is Michael Bisping’s gain though as “The Count” will move up the card to face Sonnen.

The two contenders will meet on the FOX televised main card of UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis, which takes Jan. 28 at Chicago’s United Center. It is believed that the victor will move on to face the champion, Anderson Silva, at a later date.

Earlier, White tweeted:

“Munoz is injured and out of the FOX fight. Now it’s Chael Sonnen vs. Mike Bisping Jan. 28, and the winner will fight Anderson for the title.”

Bisping was recently featured as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter and dominated fellow coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller in December at the live finale held in Las Vegas. That made it four straight victories for Bisping and a total of five in his past six outings. The Wolfslair team member had been expected to compete at UFC on FOX 2 against Demian Maia.

Sonnen has been actively seeking a rematch with current champion Silva since he dominated Brian Stann at UFC 136. With Silva out for the immediate future, the outspoken Sonnen needs one more victory before he can claim that coveted title shot.

Chris Weidman will take Bisping’s place against Maia, who will remain on the card. Additionally, a timetable for Munoz’s return was not established.

We will bring you more information here on Brits & Pieces as this storyline evolves. These two men are not shy in airing their views, so this could turn into a real battle, both in and out of the cage.

Etim Knocked Out in Brazil

British lightweight Terry Etim fulfilled his wish to fight top-level opposition on Saturday night at UFC 142, but a highlight reel KO defeat to the Brazilian Edson Barboza clearly wouldn’t have been in his plans.

The bout took place in Barboza’s homeland of Brazil at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the crowd seemed to give him a boost right from the outset.

Terry Etim (R) on his way to the mat following Edson Barboza's kick at UFC 142 (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The contest began with both men landing some tentative opening shots. Etim attempted a couple of takedowns and, whilst they were successful, his opponent was able to get back to his feet almost instantaneously. As the action wore on, Barboza began to score frequently with heavy leg-kicks, a technique which likely won him the first.

The second round continued in the much the same fashion, although Etim looked increasingly hesitant to trade on the feet. Barboza once again controlled the round, utilising the leg kick repeatedly without really threatening to finish the fight.

At this point, Etim must have been aware that he required a stoppage in order to win, but there wasn’t any noticeable change in his game plan or style during the early stages of the third frame. In a move perhaps borne of frustration, Etim moved once too often into the range of Barboza, who unleashed a vicious spinning-heel kick that knocked the plucky Brit out instantly.

Etim had campaigned for tougher competition after dispatching Edward Faaloloto in under a minute at UFC 138, but unfortunately Barboza was one step too far.

The defeat is the fourth for Etim inside the Octagon, but, more importantly, the second in his last three appearances. Although he is highly thought of, particularly here in the UK, many will now question whether he will ever make it into the 155-pound elite.

Potential future opponents for Etim could include the likes of Yves Edwards, Jeremy Stephens or Ramsey Nijem, but I for one would love to see him fight Anthony Njokuani in England later this year.

Marquardt Leaves BAMMA

Nate Marquardt’s spell with BAMMA has come to an end before it even really got started, as both parties have agreed to go their separate ways.

The news came after the UK-based organisation postponed the upcoming BAMMA 9 card from Feb. 11 to March 24. Marquardt was scheduled to meet Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the main event for the welterweight title, but the bout has now been scratched.

Nate Marquardt (Tracy Lee/Combat Lifestyle)

This is the second time that BAMMA has delayed Marquardt’s debut in the promotion, as he was originally expected to appear at BAMMA 8 late last year.

In discussion with MMA Fighting, Marquardt’s manager Lex McMahon confirmed the details:

“Nate is disappointed that he has not been able to fight for BAMMA and the UK fans. However, given the situation that BAMMA removed him as the headliner from BAMMA 8 and have elected to reschedule BAMMA 9 to March 24, 2012 all parties concerned feel that it is in Nate’s best interest to explore other options at this stage. Nate is one of the best fighters in the world and looks forward to fighting the best competition possible. Both Nate and I wish BAMMA all the best in their future endeavours.”

Marquardt signed with BAMMA in July, following his controversial departure from the UFC only a month earlier. The former title contender was scheduled to face Rick Story at UFC Live 4, but he was pulled from the event after the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission reported that his testosterone levels were above the approved limit. As a direct response to the matter, the UFC terminated his contract, making him a free agent.

As a result of his release from BAMMA, Marquardt is once again able to court other promotions. Some pundits have suggested that he may even make a shock move back to the UFC or, more likely, to its sister company, Strikeforce.

One thing is for sure though, this announcement will come as a body blow to BAMMA. Not only have they lost the main event for their next show, they have also lost possibly their biggest international star. It will certainly be interesting to see how they plan to bounce back.

UFC on Fuel TV 2 – Updates

We confirmed in the last edition of Brits & Pieces that John Maguire would fight DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fuel TV 2, but he won’t be the only British competitor on show.

It was announced over the weekend that bantamweight Brad Pickett has been booked to face American all-rounder Damacio Page, in a contest that will likely feature on the main card. Both men like to strike, so this bout has the potential to be a war.

UFC on Fuel TV 2 takes place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The event marks the promotion’s first foray into Scandinavia.

Brad Pickett (Sherdog)

Pickett steps into the Octagon for the second time after losing his debut at UFC 138 to Renan Barao. Despite the defeat, he did pick up a Fight of the Night bonus for his efforts. The former WEC competitor had been out of action for nearly a year prior to that bout and Pickett will be eager to showcase his skills in front of the European crowd.

He will now battle a fellow WEC veteran in Page, who similarly dropped his UFC debut by submission to former champ Brian Bowles. In an unusual turn of events, Page lost to Bowles for the second time in his career, both times by guillotine choke at 3:30 of the first round. Page is currently on a 2-3 skid and a further defeat would seriously put his job in jeopardy.

In additional news, it looks like Jason Young will also feature at the event, as he has been pencilled in to meet TUF 14 cast member Akira Corassani on the preliminary card.

The featherweight Young gets a third opportunity to secure a victory in the UFC. He fought gamely in his first two outings, but ultimately lost them both by unanimous decision to Dustin Poirier and Michihiro Omigawa respectively. The Cage Rage veteran was on a 4-1 run prior to his move to the UFC.

This will likely be a win-or-bust fight for Young, as he will likely be cut from the roster should he lose for the third time in a row.

Corassani built a reputation from his time on TUF 14 as being a somewhat fiery character. After a semi-final finish on the show, the Renzo Gracie-trained fighter was forced to withdraw from a slot on the live finale due to injury. Like Young, the karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had been on a 4-1 run prior to his entry into the UFC.

As a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, Corassani will be looking to get his first official UFC win under his belt and put on a show for the partisan crowd.

Daley Out of UCMMA 26

Paul Daley will no longer headline UCMMA 26 against Luke Sines due to unforseen contractual obligations. He will be replaced by K1 veteran and former title contender Peter Irving.

Paul Daley (L) battles Luigi Fioravanti (Brian Townsend/Sherdog)

Daley is currently under contract to the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce promotion. However, they had originally agreed to allow him to compete in UCMMA as long as it didn’t impact on his U.S. schedule.

It recently transpired that Strikeforce had booked Daley to meet Kazuo Misaki at the Strikeforce Grand Prix Finals on March 3, forcing him out of the planned bout with Sines.

Cage Rage UK contracts state that a fighter may be freed from their agreement should the UFC or Strikeforce wish to utilise them. As “Semtex” already had a contract with Strikeforce and it was only their goodwill that would have allowed him to compete for UCMMA anyway, the release was a mere formality.

It is possible the match-up with Sines may happen in the future though, as both men have expressed their interest in making it happen.

Stepping in on four weeks’ notice, Irving will look to get back in the win column following a defeat to John Maguire at UCMMA 23. Once it was offered to him, Irving took the bout without hesitation.

Both competitors have now agreed to fight at 77 kg for the K1 welterweight title, which Sines currently holds.

UCMMA 26 takes place Feb. 4 at the Troxy in London.

Top Photo: Michael Bisping (top) pounds on “Mayhem” Miller (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

This piece was authored by Duncan Price. Follow him on Twitter, @DuncMMA