(So guys, where they giving out the free sunglasses? PicProps: VegasNews.com)
Math must work differently in England, what with the metric system and everything. Otherwise, we can’t see exactly how Michael Bisping – who is 2-2 during the last 15 months – could possibly judge himself worthy of a middleweight title shot with a win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120 tonight. Conventional wisdom says a victory against the underwhelming Japanese “sensation” who himself is lucky just to be 1-1 in the Octagon could certainly put Bisping in line to fight somebody like Nate Marquardt or Demian Maia, but Anderson Silva? Seems like he’s got more than enough on his plate right now. Not surprisingly however, “The Count” sees himself at the front of the line.
"I’ve beat (Dan) Miller (last time out at UFC 114),” Bisping tells The Canadian Press this week. “I’m going to beat Akiyama and I want a top name after that, fingers crossed. If I do the business (on Saturday) then it’s got to be a title shot after that, I think."
But Mike, you might be wondering, what about that embarrassing knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 and the decision defeat to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110? Well, he’s is glad you asked. The Henderson fight was little more than a learning experience, Bisping says, and the loss to “The Axe Murderer?” That was a bullshit screwjob.
"I hit Wanderlei with a few big, massive punches and there’d be no reaction from the crowd," Bisping says. "Wanderlei would barely make contact with me, with like a slap or something, and the entire arena would burst into fits of excitement … So I think that might possibly have swayed (the judges)."
Whether or not you’re buying that explanation, The Canadian Press eats it up with a spoon, giving Bisping what can only be described as a glowing write-up here. The other CP describes Bisping as “no whiner” and “no slouch when it comes to style” while writing around his many faults as much as possible. It even goes as far as to suggest his lack of popularity in the states could be because American fans simply don’t “get” Bisping. Like he’s a goddamned David Lynch movie or some shit.
Bisping himself claims to have come of age, both as a fighter and as a man. He’s got a whole new attitude, he says, and from here on out will be all about finishing fights.
Says Bisping: "In the past, I was kind of like ‘Well if I go in there and get to a decision and this and that, I’d be happy with that.’ But I’m past that, I couldn’t care less about that. I been in the ring with legends now. I’ve fought them. I’ve been around a bit now. Now it’s (time) for people to start worrying about me and fearing me. And it’s time for me to become one of those guys. And I truly believe I can.”
Yep, that last claim puts him right on schedule. At this point, Bisping is one or two losses away from announcing that “the old Michael Bisping is back.” Stay tuned for that.