Never down for "The Count"
Story by Andreas Hale
Photo by Chris Cozzone
One thing is for sure about “The Count” Michael Bisping – he doesn’t want to talk about Dan Henderson anymore. After suffering his first brutal knockout loss of his career at UFC 100, Bisping has bounced back with a TKO victory over Denis Kang. Unfortunately, it seems the media forgot all about his victory at UFC 105 and still opts to ask a million and one questions about the loss to Henderson. Obviously peeved by the inquisitions, Bisping looks to truly put the past behind him when he steps into the Octagon against MMA legend Wanderlei Silva on Saturday night when UFC 110 hits Australia.
“It kind of pisses me off, people going on about that all the time,” the Brit says when he’s asked about the fight. “Obviously, that’s the only knockout on my record… I still think I can beat him. Obviously, that’s not going to happen any time in the near future. It is a little disappointing because I won’t get the chance to rematch him.”
Rather than continue to fend off questions regarding Henderson and the fact that he may never get the opportunity to avenge the loss, Bisping would rather discuss the landscape of the competitive middleweight division and how a victory over Silva could thrust him into title contention.
“I think so. If all goes well next Saturday,” he says regarding whether or not a victory would put him in line for a #1 contender fight. “I’ve been thinking about this… I’m not sure who the other top guys are. Maybe a fight with Chael (Sonnen). Who knows?”
But first things first, Bisping will need to take care of “The Ax Murderer” on Saturday night. Obviously this will be no easy task for the winner of Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter. Even though Silva has dropped five of his last six fights and Bisping has amassed an impressive record of 18-2 in his MMA career, nothing is considered a given. That’s why Bisping has employed the services of the man who knocked Silva senseless back at UFC 92 – Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Jackson has been helping Bisping train for Silva and will be in his corner in Australia.
“We met in 2006 through a seminar in England, a chance meeting really,” Bisping responds when FightNews asks about the oddest of odd couples. “We just hit it off. We have similar sense of humor and similar personalities. We get on really well. Having Rampage in the camp the last few weeks has given me a lot of insight into the fight. Obviously, he and Wanderlei have some history. Someone with Rampage’s experience and knowing Wanderlei like he does has been invaluable.”
Regardless of who is in his corner, Bisping knows that the only person that will be locked in the cage with Silva is himself. But Bisping is rather confident that he’s put together the right game plan to upend Silva and earn a victory that will definitely have the MMA world buzzing.
“To be honest, in some respects, he isn’t the most difficult guy to prepare for,” Bisping confidently explains. “There is a striking element and looping punches and outside of that there isn’t much else. We have lots of guys to replicate that style. Wanderlei is a strong puncher but I am planning to meet him toe-to-toe.”
If that happens, expect fireworks on Saturday night. And if things go Bisping’s way, he definitely won’t be the one down for the count.