Rest assured that Michael Bisping will enter the octagon at Saturday’s UFC 105 in Manchester, England, focused and ready to avenge a disappointing loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in July. He faces mixed-martial arts veteran Denis Kang, an opponent Bisping is not taking lightly. Although many feel that Bisping has a distinct edge with his standup, he is not taking it for granted, enlisting the help of several talented sparring partners in preparation for the bout.
“I wanted to work with several professional boxers that fight in England. Obviously, my last fight was the knockout, so I wanted to get pushed in the standup area as much as possible,” Bisping told The Las Vegas Sun.
Although Bisping admits that something didn’t feel right from the start in his fight against Henderson, he credits Henderson for an impressive performance.
“Obviously, I was fighting a great opponent,” Bisping admitted. “So I’m sure that had something to do with it.”
And while Bisping hasn’t completely erased the UFC 100 Knockout of the Night from his memory, he quickly came to terms with the disappointment by talking with team members later that night.
“We talked about the fight. Everybody talked about how they thought it went,” Bisping said. “Then everyone said, ‘OK, that’s done and we can’t change it now.’ I hadn’t seen my family in a long time, so we went out and had a good time.”
Bisping escaped from the pressures of the MMA world for a short time after the fight, traveling to Malaysia to visit his girlfriend’s family. He came back with renewed energy and confidence, hungry to avenge his loss and return to the top.
“It was a kind of a good thing to do in a way,” Bisping said. “I went to the other side of the world where no one gives a damn about MMA. I stayed off the computer, didn’t listen to the negative things. When I got there at first I was feeling very sorry for myself. By the time I got back, I was fully charged and ready to tackle the world again.”
As for the possibility of an eventual rematch against Henderson, Bisping remains interested in the idea, but realizes it may be an unlikely pairing in light of Henderson’s potential signing with Strikeforce following the sudden halt in contract negotiations with UFC President Dana White.
“At some point, I feel like I want to fight him again,” he stated. “That was the first fight I’ve ever been stopped and I want to make up for that and prove something to myself and my coaches. Some people say I didn’t take that fight seriously, which is absolute nonsense. We were all confident going into that fight, and I really am pursuing a rematch.”
Bisping hopes to begin his long climb back to the top of the middleweight division when he takes on Denis Kang at UFC 105 in Manchester, England this Saturday night. The event will air on a tape-delay on Spike TV at 8 p.m ET.