If there’s one thing lacking in Michael Bisping’s game, confidence isn’t it.
As he heads into his main event fight against Jason “Mayhem” Miller at The Ultimate Fighter finale this weekend, Bisping has every intention of dispatching of his fellow coach and then making a charge towards the UFC middleweight title in 2012.
Bisping actually had his eyes set on a potential No. 1 contender’s fight after facing Miller this weekend, but understands either way, he’ll be waiting a bit longer for the chance to face Anderson Silva.
However it happens though, Bisping is gunning for the belt next year.
“People are going to say ‘oh he’s so full of himself’ but I think the fact of the matter is I’m one of the best. I’m one of the best in the world, simple as that really,” Bisping said during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time now. I’ve only ever been stopped once. I’m definitely one of the best middleweights in the world. I’m going to prove that. I’m going to take Miller out. He doesn’t even deserve to be in the same cage as me, and I’m going to get my shot at the world title next year.”
Originally, Chael Sonnen was scheduled to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the first part of 2012, and Bisping was hoping to face Mark Munoz after fighting Miller this weekend.
Now with Silva on the shelf until mid-2012, Bisping is assuming he’ll have to fight someone else with Sonnen and Munoz likely headed towards the UFC on Fox 2 headliner in January with the winner getting the first crack at Silva when he returns.
“I thought Chael Sonnen was going to be fighting Anderson Silva, then I thought a logical match-up would have been me and Mark Munoz, but obviously that’s not going to happen now. It’s going to be Chael Sonnen and Mark (Munoz), and the winner of that is going to face Anderson Silva,” said Bisping.
“After I beat Miller, I’m going to have to face somebody else in the meantime. Hopefully get through them and then fight for the title. Looking into my crystal ball, I win (over Miller), and I win the next fight, I should be fighting for the title towards the middle of next year, I would hope.”
As far as potential competitors to face after the Miller fight, Bisping doesn’t really care. He just wants to prove himself in the middleweight division and show he belongs in the cage with someone the likes of Anderson Silva.
“The middleweight division right now is absolutely stacked, so there’s a lot of good challenges out there for me,” said Bisping. “I’m ready. I’m 32. I’ve been involved in this sport for a long time. I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve learned from my mistakes, and now I feel I’m in my prime and I’m ready to go.”
Assuming the winner of Sonnen and Munoz face Silva next, Bisping wants to be the next challenger on the UFC’s list of contenders. Ideally, Bisping would love the chance to face Silva most of all, just because the Brazilian has built up a legendary status in the sport and still sits undefeated in the UFC.
Don’t take Bisping’s desire to face Silva as dissing the champion, however; it’s quite the opposite. He wants to face the best, and the Brit knows Silva is the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen.
“It doesn’t matter who the champion is, I want to fight for the title, but I want to face Anderson Silva of course. Listen, I’m not about to sit here and disrespect Anderson Silva, the guy’s amazing. He’s pound-for-pound the best in the world and an icon of the sport. I’m a fan, I love watching the guy fight, but I want to fight him of course,” said Bisping.
“I feel I match up pretty well with the guy. I can definitely give him some problems. I’d definitely turn up and fight him as opposed to some of the people that he’s fought recently. I’d love to challenge the best guy on the planet, that’s what we’re here to do.”
If Bisping can get past Miller on Saturday and then collect one more win in 2012, he might just get his chance to find out.