UFC middleweight fighter Michael Bisping made it two in a row last night when he defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama at the O2 Arena in London, England. With the win, “The Count” feels that the time is right for the one thing that has eluded him since he joined the UFC – a title shot.
“Now I’m ready,” Bisping said at the post-fight press conference. “If I can’t be ready now, I’m never going to be ready. Now is the time.”
“The Count” had to work for his win, however, as Akiyama did his best to put him away every minute of the fight. Bisping and Akiyama brought the action right away with “Sexyama” landing the first punches of note and keeping Bisping on his heels with heavy shots.
“I’m still rocked now,” Bisping stated after the fight. “I can still see little black spots… It definitely landed, and I was rocked. It was a good shot. He hits hard, he swings and he’s a good fighter. He caught me right off the bat with a good shot. I had to keep my composure and keep fighting.”
Fighting in front of a home crowd, Bisping began to settle in during the first round and combined a near-constant output of strikes with level-changes to keep his opponent off balance. Bisping punctuated the first round with a flying knee but the impressive strike did little to deter Akiyama, who kept wading in during the second round. That was mostly the story of the fight from there on out; though Akiyama continuously threatened and hurt Bisping with heavy shots, “The Count” never lost steam and continued delivering strikes in volume. When Bisping did find time to sit down on his punches, he slowed Akiyama considerably. After three rounds of fighting, the judges at UFC 120 awarded Bisping the unanimous decision (30-27 across the board) victory.
“I was relatively happy tonight,” he said. “I nearly put him away, but I didn’t quite manage to do it. But still, a win is a win.”
Bisping improves to 20-3 with the victory and makes it two in a row since losing to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110. “The Count’s” UFC record sits at 10-3 now. Akiyama falls to 13-3 and makes it 1-2 in the Octagon. Bisping added more evidence to the argument that he is, in fact, one of the top middleweights in the division and also brought himself a little bit closer to the title shot he says that he is ready for.
“I want to fight the top guys,” he stated. “Whoever it is, I want to fight the best out there. I think one more win against a real credible opponent, I think that should get me a title fight.”