Michael Bisping (23-4) looks at his upcoming match with Vitor Belfort (21-10) as a great way to prepare for a possible shot at the middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-4), since he is left-handed too.
“The good thing is Vitor Belfort is the perfect warm-up for Anderson Silva,” said Bisping to ESPN. “He’s a southpaw, Anderson’s a southpaw, and they’re both incredible strikers.”
Bisping meets Belfort later this week with UFC president Dana White saying that if the Englishman wins, he earns a shot at the middleweight title.
After losing a title eliminator fight to Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) early last year, Bisping came back with a decision win over Brian Stann (12-5). Belfort is coming off an impromptu fight against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (17-1), after several names declined the fight. He returns to middleweight when he challenges Bisping.
“My skills against a southpaw have definitely improved a lot in this training camp,” said Bisping. “At the start of the camp I was struggling because things do change due to the stance. But now I’m over those problems.”
Silva defeated Belfort in their only encounter after it was postponed for over a year due to both fighters suffering various injuries. A front kick three minutes into round one and Silva retained his title.
Bisping vs. Belfort headlines UFC on FX this Saturday, January 19. That event takes place from the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Belfort’s home country of Brazil.
“Fingers crossed I get the business done, and then I’ve had the perfect tune-up for Anderson Silva,” said Bisping.