Kang unfazed by Bisping
Story by Brady Crytzer
Returning since his devastating KO loss to Dan Henderson in July, Michael Bisping is expected to receive a hero’s welcome in his hometown. Across the cage that night will be international middleweight superstar Denis Kang. In his third Octagon appearance Kang must showdown with a redemption-hungry opponent in his hometown, but is he fazed?
“This is just like any other fight,” Kang explained. “There is always pressure added. Most of my fights have been in somebody else’s hometown. I rarely, rarely, fight at home. I’m used to conditions like that. I don’t really focus on the crowd. The most important thing to me is what’s going on in the Octagon.”
Kang, an experienced veteran who has established himself as one of the most gifted athletes of the 185 pound weight class, originally turned heads in the early days of mixed martial arts. Through many trials and tribulations, Kang has acquired a dangerous asset that simply cannot be learned.
“I always took my fights pretty seriously before, but with this one there is a little bit more expectation and I am training harder than normal.”
Now, as he prepares for his forty-fifth professional fight, Kang is happy to be in the strongest mixed martial arts promotion on the planet.
“The thing I like most about the UFC is you get to know your opponents months in advance…I think there’s a higher level of professionalism.”
The aforementioned professionalism, or lack thereof, includes having more than several days notice before stepping into the ring. While fighting in Japan, the perennial favorite Kang found himself taking fights (including under kickboxing rules) on only days notice. Now, with nearly eight weeks of training under his belt, Kang prepares to meet The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael “The Count” Bisping.
After being brutally knocked out by Dan Henderson in July, Kang is well aware of what its like to come back from a loss and is expecting nothing but the best from his opponent.
“Some people never really come back from knockouts,” Kang said. “But then some come back as better fighters. You never really know until you get in there.”
While his debut was all the buzz of the MMA world in January, Kang received a less than warm welcome when he was submitted in the second round by the unheralded Alan Belcher. Following an impressive bounce-back performance against Xavier Foupa-Pokam in April, Kang realizes that UFC 105 will offer the chance to show his true potential.
“You could say this is one of the biggest fights of my career. It’s on a pretty big stage on a UFC main card and I’m fighting a pretty highly acclaimed opponent in Michael Bisping.”