If there’s one thing you can say about Michael Bisping it’s that he doesn’t have a problem expressing his feelings. Known as one of most forthcoming fighters when presented with a question, he tends to give a very honest, and sometimes brutally so, answer to anything proposed to him.
With his upcoming fight at UFC 120 against Yoshihiro Akiyama, there’s been a lot of attention on the former Judo champion as he comes back from a loss to Chris Leben in his last trip to the Octagon. Since that time, Akiyama has been working with famed coach Greg Jackson and his team in New Mexico to get ready for Bisping.
To hear the Bisping talk about it, Akiyama’s training is really of no concern to him, and people need to worry about what the Brit is going to bring to the cage Saturday night.
“With respect, I couldn’t care less who he trains with,” Bisping commented on Akiyama’s work with Team Jackson. “He can train with anyone. What I’m focusing on these days is what I do, focusing on my training. And he can worry about what I’m bringing to the table. I’ve improved all my areas. Regardless of who he’s training with, I think I’ll be too much for him. So, to answer your question, I couldn’t care less.”
Bisping has faced a Greg Jackson trained fighter before, a 2007 loss to Rashad Evans, one of only three defeats on his record. One win that Bisping has on his side though is his unanimous decision victory over Leben, the fighter who last fought and defeated Akiyama.
Anyone will tell you that the so-called “MMA math” never works, and Bisping is no different when comparing his win over Leben to Akiyama’s loss to the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor.
“I think it’d be pretty foolish to look at that and to automatically assume that I could beat him, just because Chris Leben beat him,” Bisping stated. “In MMA, anything can happen on the mat. But, that said, I’ve looked at Akiyama, I’ve looked at his style, I look at the way he fights, and I’m positive I can beat him.”
Another level of positivity that Bisping adds going into his UFC 120 fight is an undefeated record at home in England. The Cyprus native has fought in the UFC in his home country five times and walked away with five victories. The pressure of fighting at home could make others crumble, but it’s obvious that Bisping excels with the British crowd behind him.
“When I fight in England, the crowd is fantastic, and they get behind me, and that feels very special,” Bisping commented. “I suppose maybe it does come into it a little bit. I always feel an extra incentive to perform and give the fans what they came to see.