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Mike Bisping Interview Feb11


									Michael “The Count” Bisping talks to JOE
It would probably be a stretch to include Michael “The Count” Bisping (20-3) under our Fighting Irish banner even
though he has an Irish mother. But either way we were delighted, with 3 weeks to go before his fight at UFC 127 in
Australia, he took time out to speak to JOE before heading into the gym for his evening training session.

Bisping started his eight week training camp just after Christmas after enjoying the festive season like the rest of us.
Fighting at middleweight (185 pounds) Bisping tipped the scales at 220 pounds on the first day of camp. “Training
has gone really well. I’ve got all the weight off already and to be honest I could fight this week. I feel ready,
conditioning is great, camp’s gone well so I’m looking forward to getting down to Australia now.”

“My weight at the moment is about 200 pounds, which is fine. So the day before weigh-in, I’ll cut the rest down to
185, and then build back up to 200 pounds by the time I’m walking into the Octagon. That’s probably the standard
for middleweights in MMA these days” said Bisping.

Training wasn’t plain sailing though as a bout staph infection he had in 2010 flared up after a few weeks of training.
“Yeah, I had a bit of staph last October that came back worse in January but I got to the doctor and got 10 days’
worth of antibiotics so it just meant I had to be smart about how I trained for a while” commented Bisping.

The bout of staph hasn’t been the only source of annoyance for Bisping as his opponent Jorge Rivera (18-7) has been
vocal since the bout was signed. “Y’know what, he’s really annoyed me with the stupid things he’s been saying in the
run up to the fight. He’s paid me no respect as a fighter, which has really annoyed me”, as if Bisping needed any
more motivation to step into the octagon. Once the fight was signed, Rivera said he was looking forward to fighting
Bisping so he could “F**k him up!” Rivera has also undertaken a viral campaign casting aspersions about Bisping's
punching power. Rivera’s taunts may provide Bisping the source of added inspiration for a long overdue highlight
reel finish to go with his 12 wins by (T)KO in his career and 2 Fight of the Night bonuses in recent fights.

His main motivation to fight at the moment is getting a crack at the middleweight title, Anderson Silva, who
spectacularly knocked out Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. “I thought it was a crucial mistake of Belfort not to pressure
Anderson and get him on the back foot. But the finish was incredible and that’s why Anderson is the greatest MMA
fighter we’ve ever seen” Bisping recalled of Silva’s last defence.

Describing his root to the belt Bisping feels he has a fight or two left to get there. “I was hoping for someone like
Nate Marquardt for my next fight but the UFC is a business and I’ll fight whoever they want me to fight. I don’t feel
Rivera is enough to get me a title shot so I’m concentrating on doing the business against him and then really
stepping up to a quality opponent.”

The title picture has been clouded a little with the UFC’s desire to stage the GSP v Silva super-fight. Yushin Okami
was granted #1 contender status having beaten Marquardt at UFC 122 but could opt to sit out the months until the
mythical pound for pound champion is crowned.

With possibly the best footwork and some sharpest hands in the UFC, Bisping has resisted the temptation to relocate
to the States and still trains at the Wolfslair MMA Academy in Widnes, UK. “Every morning there’s probably 20
professional MMA fighters lined up for training, which not many gyms in the UK could say” offers Bisping on the
quality of training partners coming to work-out. In addition to the local talent Rampage Jackson now trains out of the
Wolfslair and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez has joined Bisping for the UFC 127 camp.

Bisping remains philosophical about his future as he appreciates he destiny lies in other people’s hands. “All I can do
is keep improving myself and take every fight I can and who knows, things just happen for me in 2011.”

Fergus Ryan, February 2011

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