UFC middleweight contender, Michael Bisping has confirmed for the first time in his career he truly believes he can pick up the UFC middleweight championship and be crowned the best fighter in the 185 pound division, something he plans on proving when he faces Japanese superstar, Yoshihiro Akiyama next weekend at UFC 120 in London, England.
Bisping, speaking via MMAFighting.com, said:
“I’ve been talking about it a bit recently. Obviously in the past I’ve talked about wanting to be the champion, being the world champ. It’s ironic. Maybe in the past I didn’t truly believe it. I was just saying it because it’s the thing you’re supposed to say. But now everything’s coming together. I feel I’m really maturing as a fighter. I’ve got the experience under my belt. My skills are all coming together. I’m understanding the game a lot more. I’ve got the confidence back where I need to be. And I truly believe now I can make a run at the title.”
“Other than the Henderson fight and a bulls— decision to Wanderlei Silva, I don’t think I’ve lost at middleweight. I got beat by Dan Henderson and that’s it. I feel I won the fight against Wanderlei. Other than Dan Henderson, I’ve never been beat at middleweight. So I feel I’ve got a path to the title. I’m one of the better athletes in there. I’ve got to walk the walk. It’s all well and good me sitting here talking about it, but people don’t want to hear that, they want to see results. And I plan to deliver on Oct. 16.”
“I looked at Akiyama and the way he fights and I’m positive I can beat him. I’m improving all the time. I’m a much better fighter than what I was one year ago. I feel I’m maturing and coming into my peak as a mixed martial artist. I’m not overlooking Akiyama. I think he’s a very tough opponent and I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight. I’m expecting him to come in hard and fast looking for the knockout.”
“Right now I’m focusing on Akiyama. It’s going to be a tough fight and I’ve got the utmost respect for him. After the fight, fingers crossed, God willing I beat him, I just want to fight … I feel I’m in my prime now. I’d like to avenge the loss to Wanderlei. I feel I beat him on that night. I’d love to fight him again, but if it’s not going to be him, whether it’s Nate Marquardt, Chael Sonnen’s out, I don’t care who it is. Whoever the top dog is out there that wants the belt, I want to beat them and then fight for the title.”