Michael Bisping has been talking about getting a shot at the title pretty much since the first day he stepped foot in the UFC, but for the first time in his career the Brit feels like he’s on the right path to get to a championship.
Words are just words, but Bisping has always been an epic talker before fights, and he’s never made it a secret of what his ultimate goal in the UFC is. Admitting that fighters talking about title shots is just the thing to do, Bisping is more forthcoming about why he believes he’s truly ready now.
“Obviously in the past I’ve talked about wanting to be the world champion, and I’m going to be the world champion, and all this type of stuff. If I’m honest, maybe in the past maybe I didn’t truly believe it. I was just saying it because it was the thing you were supposed to say,” Bisping said on Thursday.
It’s that honesty along with a certain past fight that have brought Bisping to where he’s at now. Staring down a main event with Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120, with hopes of climbing into the middleweight title picture with a win.
“I lost to Dan Henderson last year, and I made some mistakes. Losing to Dan Henderson was the best thing to ever happen to me,” Bisping stated. “It made me go away and look harder to find the mistakes I was making.
“Other than the Dan Henderson fight, other than the (expletive) decision to Wanderlei Silva, I don’t think I’ve lost any other fights at middleweight. I got beat by Dan Henderson, and that’s it. I feel I won the fight against Wanderlei, and other than Dan Henderson, I’ve never been beat at middleweight.”
Changing some of his philosophies in training along with the fresh mindset, and Bisping is lasered in on the goals he wants to achieve in this sport. With over 20 pro fights, Bisping feels he has the tools to do the job to win the title.
“Now everything’s come together, I’ve been working with some new coaches,” said Bisping. “I said earlier how I’m really maturing as a fighter. I’ve got the experience under my belt, my skills are all coming together, I’m understanding the game a lot more, I’ve got the confidence where I need to be, and I truly believe now I can make a run at the title.”
Bisping wants everyone to know that he is in no way looking past Akiyama at UFC 120, but those long-term goals come with expectations, and with those expectations come future fights. There is one loss in particular that he’d love to have back, but ultimately he just wants to face whoever will get him closer to the belt.
“I’d love to avenge the loss to Wanderlei. I feel I beat him on that night, and I’d love to fight him again,” said Bisping. “If it’s not going to be him, then whoever it’s going to be. Nate Marquardt, Chael Sonnen’s out, I don’t care who it is. Whoever the top dog is out there that wants the belt, I want to beat them and then fight for the title.”
Quick to point out that talking only takes you so far, Bisping is ready to back it up with his actions in the Octagon. That is the proving ground if he really wants to live his dream and win the UFC middleweight title.
“Obviously, I’ve got to put up or shut up,” he said. “I’ve got to walk the walk, it’s doing a lot of good me sitting here and talking about it, people don’t want to hear that they want to see results. That’s what I plan to deliver on Oct. 16.”