There are few figures in mixed martial arts that are as polarizing as Michael Bisping — The confident Brit has legions of fans who either love him or hate him.
Last week he was preparing for dangerous submission artist Demian Maia before Mark Munoz was forced to step aside due to injury giving him the the biggest opportunity of his career, being in a title-eliminator fight against Chael Sonnen.
“I had just finished a training session for Demian Maia, working out of the Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach. I had just finished training and having my post-workout lunch and my phone went off, it was Dana White,”
He continued “I answered the phone and he said “I think I’ve got some good news for you” and went on to tell me about Mark Munoz being injured and if I’d like to take the fight. I said give me a minute to talk to my coaches out of respect then called him back five minutes later and said sure, let’s do it.”
Bisping is coming off one of the biggest fights of his carrer smashing his ‘Ultimate Fighter’ opposing coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller displaying magnificent boxing that put the Bully Beatdown host on dream street.
If the talented middleweight can leave Chicago with his hand raised this weekend he will punch his ticket to walk into enemy territory to face Anderson Silva in a soccer stadium in Brazil but he doesn’t see Sonnen as a more difficult opponent.
“Demian Maia is just as dangerous of an opponent, he submitted Sonnen in about 90 seconds so this isn’t necessarily a harder fight but Chael Sonnen is a guy with a lot of hype around him at the moment “
He went on to explain that Maia and Sonnen although two very different opponents have their similarities.
“Stylistically there are some differences and in some respects the fights real similar. They’re both southpaws, they’re both gonna try to take me down so in some respect it’s similar but in others it’s not,” he says.
“If I knew I was going to be facing Sonnen a while ago I would’ve been training with a bunch of top-class wrestlers as oppose to training with a bunch of BJJ guys, that being said I am a fighter and have been waiting for this opportunity my entire life and I want to get a title shot.”
Despite being in the elite 185-pound division for most of his career and leaving with his hand raised most of the time he still feels the general public underrates his abilities and laughs at the proposed betting lines.
“I think people underrate me, I think that’s pretty fair to say. I think I’m about a 4 to 1 underdog and to be honest I think that’s ridiculous. He beat three opponents to get a title shot, I beat my last four. I’ve been in the UFC for six years and gone nowhere, Sonnen came into the UFC and was cut by the UFC, all that time I’ve been in the UFC fighting the best in the world and have only lost three times in my career,”
He insisted” Well, I’ve only really lost once – I’ve had two bullshit decisions in the past so if people put me as a 4 to 1 underdog so be it, I’m not really bothered. I’m confident in my skills and my coaches are very confident that I’ll win this fight.”
Being on the FOX platform for the second time brings a whole new set of eyeballs to the table and the ability to catch the attention of more and more viewers than ever before but he feels that they don’t have to worry about making this one entertaining.
“I always feel pressure to put on an exciting fight, I think that’s why I’ve had such a successful career because I do put on exciting fights and obviously with it being on FOX there’s going to be a new audience and we want to give the new fans something to see, watch the UFC and become fans for life,” he says.
He stated “To be honest, with myself and Chael Sonnen it’s pretty much guaranteed to be good. I know Sonnen is a wrestler but he’s pretty exciting to watch for a wrestler, he’s relentless, he fights at a great pace and he doesn’t take guys down to lie on them, he takes them down to try and finish them”
He continued “It’s got all the ingredients to be the best fight of the year – We’re both ready, we’re both in shape and it’s gonna be a real dogfight so do not miss this fight, it’s going to be an amazing fight and I can’t wait.”
All the action goes down this weekend when the brash Brit puts it all on the line looking to spoil the coming out party of the outspoken Sonnen, be sure to check out the entire interview over at MMASucka Radio.