At one time the sole ambassador for British MMA on the big show, Michael “The Count” Bisping will be looking to keep the momentum he built with a unanimous decision win over Dan Miller alive and growing when he takes on Japanese-Korean judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama this October at UFC 120. “The Count” has suffered only three losses in his entire twenty two fight career; those losses came at the hands of Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva.
The most memorable of those losses is easily the devastating knockout he suffered to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 but Bisping has proven his ability to bounce back from a loss such as that by posting wins over Denis Kang and Miller (broken up by a unanimous decision loss to Silva) and, according to a recent blog written for Sky Sports, actually credits the loss to Henderson as a reason he has improved as a fighter. Props to FightersOnly.com for the find.
“In terms of my mindset right now, I’m more confident than I’ve ever been before. I’ve had my ups and my downs, but I feel as if I know what I can do and what I can achieve in this game,” he wrote. “The loss to Dan Henderson last summer was a bad setback for me at the time, but it was also probably the best thing that has ever happened to me and my career. That sounds like a clich? and something all fighters feel like they have to say, but I truly do believe that. I’ve now realized I’ve got a few weaknesses and a few things that need working on, and that loss made me concentrate hard on becoming the fighter I can be. It taught me a lesson and forced me to get better.”
Since dropping to middleweight, Bisping has picked up wins over Charles McCarthy, Jason Day, Chris Leben, Denis Kang and Jim Miller. “The Count” is looking to add another name to that list, Yoshihiro Akiyama’s, en route to earning a middleweight title shot. A goal which he believes will be in his sights within a year’s time.
“Everything’s coming together right now,” said Bisping. “I feel I’m one of the best wrestlers in the division, my boxing is fantastic, my jiu-jitsu has gone to the next level and my all-round game is so much improved. I truly believe that I’ll be middleweight champion this time next year. The hard work begins with Akiyama on October 16th, but, with a great win over him and one more victory against a contender next year, I believe my time will arrive. Within three fights I’ll be fighting for and winning the belt.”
Bisping and Akiyama will fight in the main event of UFC 120, which is scheduled to take place this October 16th at the O2 Arena in London, England.