by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighter season three winner Michael Bisping returns to action when the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its debut in Montreal, Canada. “The Count” is scheduled to face Jiu-Jitsu specialist Charles “Chainsaw” McCarthy on April 19th at UFC 83.
Having trained primarily with the Wolfslair MMA Academy in England, Bisping is currently in Huntington Beach, Calif. making the final preparations for his upcoming fight. Bisping has enlisted the help of the guys at the Ultimate Training Center, which is also home to fighters such Rob McCullough, Tiki Ghosn and Tito Ortiz.
“I came out here to mix it up a little bit; roll with some different guys,” said Bisping. “I wanted to come out here and finish off my training for the last couple of weeks.”
UFC 83 marks the organization’s first event to be held in Canada. Likewise, Michael Bisping will be making a debut of his own when he moves to down to the middleweight division to take on Charles McCarthy.
“Back when I started my career, a lot of people said I was too small for light heavyweight, you should fight at middleweight. At the time I had a lot of success as a light heavyweight. The guys in the light heavyweight division in the UFC are a lot bigger and they cut a lot more weight than they do in England,” stated the Cage Warriors Fighting Championships veteran.
Bisping is coming off of the first blemish of his professional career. At UFC 78, the former Cage Rage light heavyweight champion lost a split decision to Rashad Evans in the battle of former Ultimate Fighter winners.
“In the Rashad Evans fight, I thought if I beat him the winner of that fight would in the top five of the UFC. If I lose, then I would drop down to 185 [pounds]. After the fight, I played with the idea of staying at 205 because I didn’t feel like I lost anything from the fight. Yes he got his hand raised but it was a close fight and an arguable decision perhaps. But ultimately he did win, he got his hand raised and I respect that. I told Joe Silva I wanted to fight at middleweight from now on,” revealed Bisping.
“To be honest, it’s a decision I should done a long time ago. The cut to 185 has not been an issue what so ever. I’m faster now; I’m stronger. I just feel more athletic,” added the 29-year old fighter. “When I decided to drop down, I didn’t think of the competition. I didn’t look at that and say that’s easier or that’s harder. I don’t think it’s easier at all.”
“Anderson Silva is arguably the most dominant champion in all of the weight classes. When I did drop [to the middleweight division], it was kind of shallow but now there’s more challengers at 185. Wanderlei Silva thought about dropping down. After this fight it’s going to get me closer to a title shot. I want to fight some of the contenders. I want to prove I have what it takes to be a contender at 185.”
Charles McCarthy made his octagon debut back at UFC 53. He was defeated by David Loiseau via TKO. McCarthy later joined the cast of the Ultimate Fighter season four but was eliminated from the show at the hands of Pete Sell. The American Top Team fighter has not fought in nearly sixteen months when he last submitted Gideon Ray on the Ultimate Fighter season four finale.
“He’s vocal about his ability as a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. I think he’s won all of his fights by way of submission so obviously I’m going to be careful about that,” commented Bisping. “I’m pretty confident in my submission defense; I’m pretty decent from the ground as well. I don’t think he’ll submit me to be honest. I don’t think he can handle me standing.”
Recently Charles McCarthy made a few bold statements about his opponent. He was quoted as saying Bisping was just an ‘average’ fighter. Bisping gave his thoughts on McCarthy’s attempt to discredit him.
“I never underestimate anybody and I always train as hard as I can. I’ve never met Charles McCarthy; I’ve never had a conversation with him so I have no opinion of the guy. He’s just my opponent and I’m training hard for him; then he disrespects me and he disrespects all of my previous opponents. He thinks he’s being smart by trying to get into my head and play mind games. He’s just pissing me off and making me train harder; he’s going to make me come out and mess him up a bit,” responded the former Pro British kickboxing champion.
Michael Bisping feels that he has something to prove. At UFC 83, “The Count” looks to get back on track with a win and a successful debut in the middleweight division.
“I’m coming to fight and I’m just hoping Charles McCarthy comes to fight. I’m going to go out there and let it all loose. I’m looking to take this guy out nice and fast and in a dominating fashion. Don’t blink.”