(Video courtesy of YouTube/FightHubTV)
Our friend Marcos Villegas over at FightHubTV caught up with Michael Bisping ahead of his UFC on Fox 1 middleweight contender match-up this weekend and the brash Brit is not surprisingly confident of his chances Saturday night against Chael Sonnen, who he has been preparing to fight his whole life apparently.
“Well, you know…um… it’s a difficult match-up. There’s no two ways about it. Chael Sonnen is widely regarded as the number one contender and he’s closing in on a match with Anderson Silva. I was training for Demian Maia, who himself is a very, very dangerous opponent. He actually holds a very good win over Chael Sonnen. Demian Maia submitted Chael Sonnen. I’ve been training hard — as hard as humanly possible, to be honest, for my fight with Demian Maia. A fight with Chael Sonnen, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t want to take that fight,” he explained. “I didn’t think about it for a second. I jumped at the opportunity. I’m a fighter. This is what I do and I want to have the title. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, you’ve only got a week to prepare.’ I disagree. I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I’ve been training in martial arts since I was about nine years old; I’ve been training hard for this fight. It doesn’t mean anything. At the end of the day, I don’t care about the style, we’re gonna get in there and fight and it’s gonna be who’s the better fighter. I believe I’m the better fighter, but we’ll see what happens…I believe this is my destiny to be world champion and Chael Sonnen’s in my way.”
I’m not sure if this next quote was a jab at Sonnen, considering Bisping has been taking shots at his hypogonadism all week, but if it wasn’t it’s one of the best unintentional barbs by an MMA fighter.
“There’s a lot of people out there who wouldn’t have taken this fight, but that’s precisely why I’m gonna win, because I did take this fight because I’ve got the balls and I’m gonna back it up,” Bisping says. “Ultimately it doesn’t matter [who the fans like or hate]. I couldn’t care less who’s the hero, who’s the heel, who’s liked, who’s not. There’s a lot on the line this fight. A world title shot is on the line. I couldn’t give a shit who the fans are cheering for. All I care about is winning.”
As for how he sees the fight playing out, “The Count” seems to think his, er… superior striking will decide the match, in spite of the fact that he has yet to knock out a UFC opponent.
“Chael Sonnen is an outstanding wrestler. There’s no two ways about it. I’ve fought a lot of good wrestlers in my UFC career and this fight will be just like al the others. I’m gonna go out there and look to keep it on the feet and I’ll look to knock him out — as simple as that. He’s gonna be a tough test. I’m under no false illusions about that. He’s an amazing wrestler, but like I said, I think I’m a better fighter. I want it more. Nobody wants this as bad as me. I believe I can stop his takedowns,” he predicts. “If he does take me down, I believe I can submit him on the ground. If I can’t get the submission, I’ll get back to my feet. Nobody gets back to their feet as well as me in the UFC and I’ll show that [Saturday].Of course he’s probably going to get takedowns. Like I said, I’ll get back up, but for the most part I’ll shrug off most of his takedowns, he’ll wear, I’ll start landing punches and soon he’ll fall to the floor. Chael Sonnen is probably going to look to control me on the floor and ground-and-pound me, which he’s very good at. I’m not gonna let that happen. I’m gonna work back to my feet, I’m gonna turn the tables, I’m gonna look for the knockout.”
He may be looking for a while since Sonnen has never been knocked out in his MMA career. But this is MMA and there’s always a first for anything, right. Ah, who the hell are we kidding. It ain’t happening Mike, so you should probably come up with a “Plan B.” And FYI, you can just say “Chael,” or “Sonnen” or even “he,” instead of saying his full name every time you mention him. We know who you’re referring to. You’re welcome.