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Bisping and Sonnen heading for TUF 14 collision

ESPN staff
April 2, 2011 « Gunnell warns athletes that 2011 will be critical | Chartbeat test »

Michael Bisping could be set for the most blockbuster coaching rivalry ever seen on The Ultimate Fighter after strong reports emerged on Saturday of a showdown with trash talk master Chael Sonnen.

Bisping has been linked to Sonnen ever since he beat Jorge Rivera at UFC 127, a controversial victory that prompted Sonnen to write to the UFC in request of a clash with the Brit.

The American was the No. 1 middleweight contender before he served a suspension and had his contract frozen on medical and legal grounds respectively, while Bisping is believed to be within one win of a middleweight title shot after three consecutive victories.

Bisping's actions at UFC 127, when he allegedly spat at Rivera's coach, have made him one of the most wanted men outside of the UK, and Sonnen has already demanded an apology, stating: "I hold the "whip hand" in this deal; so if he wants to feed his family without going on the dole, he better apologize."

The Brit's response came recently when he poked fun at Sonnen's hypogonadism, which causes a lower production of testosterone, claiming the American was looking angry with Jake Shields in a picture because he "couldn't take how large [Jake's] balls were in relation to his."

Now, courtesy of a report by respected MMA journalist Dave Melzer in The Wrestling Observer, it seems we might be treated to several months of trash talk when Sonnen is clear of his court case.

"The plan from Spike TV and UFC for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, which would air September through December, is to have Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping as coaches to build to a PPV match in December," wrote Melzer. "The winner would likely be in line for the first middleweight title match of 2012."

"Neither UFC nor Spike can publicly announce this due to Sonnen not being licensed in Nevada. ... The decision, rumoured for weeks, is controversial and will likely be heavily criticized if it does happen."

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