Denis Kang will face off against hometown hero Michael “The Count” Bisping this Saturday in Manchester, England at UFC 105. Kang is coming off a decision victory against Xavier Foupa-Pokam in April after being submitted in his UFC debut against Alan Belcher. Bisping is trying to get back on track in the middleweight division after being viciously knocked out by Dan Henderson in the second round of UFC 100 in July.
In an interview with Fanhouse.com, Kang talked about fighting Bisping and what he expects.
“I think he’s going to come at me,” he noted. “But I think he’s going to find out coming at me doesn’t work, and that’s when he’s going to get on his bike and start backing away. The big question is whether Bisping can get over his last fight.”
When Kang was asked about how he expects Bisping to bounce back from his devastating loss, he answered, “It depends on the person. I mean, that was a really bad knockout. It can affect you psychologically. Some people never come back from something like that. I hope he uses it to get better and comes back and give me a hell of a fight. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m preparing for.”
Kang is a Canadian of Korean and French heritage. With Bisping fighting in his own backyard, Kang is certainly not going to be a fan favorite. Bisping has fought in front of his fellow Englishmen many times and has not been defeated in his home country. Despite the probable hostile crowd, Kang is not phased.
“Most of my fights have been in hostile territory — I’ve fought guys in their hometowns before.”
Great expectations were heaped upon Kang upon his arrival with the UFC but his plans hit a major snag when Alan Belcher surprised him with a guillotine choke victory earlier in the year. Kang described the loss saying, “I didn’t prepare as well as I should have for that fight because of an injury, but the bottom line is I took the fight, I fought to the best of my ability, and when I made a mistake he caught me. Obviously I wish I would have won, but I think after losing I came away better than I had been.”
The loss was surely a setback but Kang believes he is still in the running in the middleweight division.
“I think I’m in the top 10 as far as my fighting ability, but I think that based on my record right now I’m probably considered outside the top 10 until I beat Bisping.”
Bisping, who has only suffered two losses in his career (to top fighters Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson), is sure to test Kang at UFC 105 on Saturday. The event will air on a tape-delay on Spike TV at 8 p.m ET.