Michael Bisping says he's been knocking out his sparring partners in UFC 217 training

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This weekend, Michael Bisping will defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This will be the Canadian fighter's first UFC fight since he won via split decision against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013 in Las Vegas, successfully defending the UFC Welterweight Championship at the time.

Despite the time GSP has been out of the Octagon for, this should still be a very entertaining fight, as the main narrative will be which fighter is able to get their style of fighting in more first. GSP is a well-rounded fighter that likes to wrestle, while Bisping is a striker.

The Count has continuously said in the build-up to this fight that he can knock Rush out, and that was no different when he appeared on Fox Sports' UFC show, UFC Tonight. Expect this time, he said it in a unique way.

The UFC Middleweight Champion said to hosts Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian that throughout his training camp, he had been knocking out his sparring partners, a process which he will most likely be aiming to repeat against his Canadian opponent this Saturday.

Bisping said: “I’m ready. I’ve been knocking out sparring partners in the gym. Here’s the thing: GSP is going to try to take me down and cuddle me to death. And we all know I’m not a good cuddle.”

Obviously, the sparring partner would have to agree to possibly being knocked out before any sparring begins, but it's not common practice at all for a knockout to happen in sparring and some fans might even frown upon it.

Throughout his career, Bisping has finished 16 of his 30 wins by way of knockout/technical knockout, the most recent being a first-round upset of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June 2016. GSP, on the other hand, hasn’t finished a fight since BJ Penn threw in the towel in January 2009 at UFC 94.

The British fighter certainly believes he can end this fight by knockout as well, as he said on his Believe You Me podcast a week ago: “The way I’m performing, I’m knocking guys out every round. I honestly believe I can stop Georges, I can knock him out, I can beat him. I respect his wrestling, I’m not terrified of his wrestling. I’ve prepared for that. I think I’m gonna stop him. I’m gonna stop the little Frenchie in Madison Square Garden.”

Will it end this way this weekend? We'll just have to watch the fight to find out for ourselves.

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Michael Bisping
Dana White
Georges St-Pierre

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