UK middleweight fighter Michael Bisping will be fighting in the main event of this weekend’s UFC 120 fight card at the O2 Arena in London, England; and the original British MMA ambassador is determined not to let down the hometown crowd by losing to opponent Yoshihiro Akiyama.
“This fight means everything. I’ve only truly lost one fight at middleweight,” said Bisping. “I’ve got what it takes. I’m maturing as a fighter. Everything is coming together, and it’s mine for the taking.”
Bisping’s UFC career record is 9-3, with his losses coming to Rashad Evans (split decision – light heavyweight), Dan Henderson (knockout – middleweight), and Wanderlei Silva (unanimous decision) – middleweight). Bisping has publicly disputed the result of his and Silva’s bout, making his disagreement with the decision well known. The current target for “The Count’s” aggressions remains Akiyama, however, who has drawn Bisping’s ire for predicting a quick finish Saturday night.
“He said he’s gonna knock me out in the first round. That pissed me off a little bit,” said Bisping. “Look at my last fight against [Chris] Leben. He didn’t land a good one on me. He had to go to hospital, and I enjoyed myself after the fight and probably drank a bit too much.”
Though the straightforward Brit is ever-confident heading into his bout with Akiyama, he is still appreciative of the opportunity to fight against one of the top fighters in the world.
“I don’t rate my past two bouts highly. Everything was a lesson to me in terms of how to condition myself to the fight,” said “The Count”. “It’s a great honor to fight against the excellent fighters in the UFC. I’m training hard for this bout so I do my best.”
Bisping will be joined on the UFC 120 main card by fellow standout countrymen Dan Hardy, taking on Carlos Condit; John Hathaway, taking on Mike Pyle; and James Wilks, taking on Claude Patrick.