Exclusive interview: UFC's Michael Bisping

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Rated as the UK's #1 and with a possible championship fight looming on the horizon, Michael Bisping has a massive few months ahead of him. 

With preparations well underway regarding his upcoming October 26 fight against Mark Munoz in Manchester, GiveMeSport were given time with 'The Count' in order to find out just how assured he is of doing the business when it matters most.

The 34-year-old is confident that training is going well ahead of his bout with Munoz, and believes that come fight night, the home fans will have something to shout about. 

'Preparation's going really well, a typical fight camp is eight weeks so obviously I'm still seven weeks out, so still early days. But I'm in great shape, I'm feeling strong, healthy, very positive about the matchup.

'I'll be in the shape of my life when October 26 comes, ready to do some damage and ready to give the fight fans in England what they want.'

Munoz, a renowned wrestler whose specialty lies within his application of the now infamous 'ground and pound' manoeuvre, will certainly provide a stiff test for Bisping. However Munoz's ground game is something that the Brit is ready for, and he is relishing the prospect of countering it.

'He's obviously going to try and take me down in this fight, show me on the floor and use his ground and pound so I've sourced some good wrestlers so I can prepare for that.

'I've got the game plan, I've got the expertise and the resources right there on tap and it's just a case of putting the hard work in. It's easy to sit and talk about it, it's another thing to get off your arse and do it,' Bisping said. 

'You could say it's a striker vs. grappler matchup; he wants to take me down. He does have striking, he does have some powerful striking but it's orthodox and limited so on the feet I'm a much better striker with much better technique, but that doesn't mean he's not dangerous on the feet.'

Bisping, who bounced back from a loss at the beginning of the year to Vitor Belfort with victor against Alan Blecher at UFC 159, is adamant that his superior striking can give him the edge, and believes he knows just how the fight will play out. 

'As the fight wears on I'll start planting my feet more and look to hurt him and take him out. So I think rounds two and three, once he's worn out a little bit, that's when I'll probably take him out.

'I'm gonna hit him in the face a bunch of times. He's gonna start getting more and more desperate, he's gonna realise that he can't take me down and he can't hold me down. Is he going to get me down once or twice? Probably. I doubt that's his entire game-plan, but will I pop right back on my feet? Yes I will.

'And every time I do it he's gonna get disillusioned, he's gonna lose heart, he's gonna start getting desperate then I'm gonna start hurting him more and more with shots. He hasn't got the best chin in the world, he's gonna start feeling the pain, he's gonna start feeling the pressure and in the end he's gonna be curled up in a ball on the floor waiting for the referee to stop it.'

Moving forward, the Cyprus-born bruiser is aiming for the roof of the UFC, by targeting a man made famous by his KO of martial-arts legend Anderson Silva; Chris Weidman. 

'I'd love a fight with Weidman. The UFC have told me that this fight has title implications. A good win over Munoz, if Weidman was to beat [Anderson] Silva again in the rematch there's possibility of a match with Weidman, or maybe one of the top contenders.

'For me, in a perfect world, a win over Munoz and then I get to take the title off Weidman. That's what I would really like.'

Bisping finished by adding how much he was looking forward to the prospect of fighting in England. It's been three years since the middleweight was able to step into the octagon on home-shores, and he says it will be a factor that will make a victory all the more special.

'It's three years since I fought here, every time I've fought in the UK for the UFC I've won Fight of the Night, I think that speaks for itself as for how much it mentally charges me.

'I walk out and the crowd are just absolutely ridiculous, they blow the roof off the arena. Obviously physically they can't help me but mentally it charges me and helps me give a great performance, obviously cause I get Fight of the Night every time I fight here.

'I just hope I deliver on the night and give everybody what they've paid to see.'

Michael Bisping takes on Mark Munoz at The Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on 26th October. Tickets for UFC® MANCHESTER 2013: BISPING vs. MUNOZ are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.phones4uarena.co.uk.


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