Sherdog.com recently caught up with Michael Bisping, who meets Denis Kang on Nov. 14 at UFC 105. The bout, which will be one of the featured attractions at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England, will also be Bisping’s first since his knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100.
The often outspoken Brit discussed that defeat to Henderson, his upcoming clash with Kang and more with Sherdog.com.
Sherdog.com: How is the preparation for your upcoming fight with Denis Kang progressing?
Bisping: Obviously with the fight 10 weeks away we’re not full on yet, but I am in the gym every day brushing up on my technique. Soon I'll sit down with my management and discuss getting a few guys in. We'll start about eight weeks beforehand.
Sherdog.com: Are there any areas in particular that you have identified as beneficial for you in this fight?
Bisping: To be honest, he's a pretty complete fighter. Very good technique and that’s what I wanted. Obviously, I was very disappointed by the Dan Henderson fight, and wanted a big win over a credible opponent, and Denis Kang is definitely that. I have a few things up my sleeve though, and we'll be working on them in the coming weeks. I will win this fight.
Sherdog.com: About fighting in Manchester. It’s close to being your hometown. Does that help as a fighter or add to the pressure?
Bisping: It’s a bit of both. It will definitely help having a lot of people there who want you to win. It was absolutely fantastic fighting there last time. Probably the highlight of my career so far. On the other side though, there are a lot of people there that you don't want to let down, but I usually perform better under pressure.
Sherdog.com: On the last season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” you became one of a select few to have been both a competitor and coach. How difficult an experience is that show?
Bisping: It was a tough situation but also a means to an end. Now I'm a fighter; if it wasn't for that show -- who knows? The travel and the time away from your family comes with the territory. Back then it was the first time I'd been away from my family for any length of time, but now I'm used to it.
It’s all part of the sacrifice. You spend a lot of time away and in hotels. It’s all about putting in the effort. I drive an hour to the Wolfslair every day and then drive an hour back. Coaching was a new experience, but I really enjoyed that aspect and was proud that the boys did really well.
Sherdog.com: Do you think some of your actions on the show got lost in translation between banter and arrogance?
Bisping: I don't take myself too seriously, I'm always trying to have a laugh and take the piss. I don't think I'm arrogant, but if that is how I appeared on the show, then that might be something that I have to look at in the future.
Sherdog.com: Do you think the prolonged build up surrounding your fight with Dan Henderson affected your performance on the night?
Bisping: I don't. I have no excuses. Dan did a great job that night and I didn't. My manager thinks that the “Ultimate Fighter” job was a nightmare for me because it left so much time between fights, but to be honest I don't think it made much difference.
Sherdog.com: What aspects would you change in a rematch?
Bisping: I'd keep my left hand up! [Laughs] No, I mean, like I said, I had a good camp going in, but Dan just took me out. Credit to the guy. I would love to have a rematch, but I have to earn the right; I'll have to beat a few credible guys before then. At the moment I have no right to a rematch. I would also like to rematch Rashad Evans and Matt Hamill at some point.
Sherdog.com: Last week, speaking to Sherdog.com, Dan Hardy said that he felt American fans were waiting for the British fighters to fail. Would you agree with that?
Bisping: I saw the article and I agree in some respects. I think most MMA fans look past nationality though, and I think there are many people who want us to succeed, but of course you have those people who want us to fail.
Sherdog.com: You made the move to light heavyweight directly after the close decision loss to Rashad Evans, who consequently went on to knock out both Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin in his next fights. Do you still have something to offer at that weight?
Bisping: Yeah, absolutely. I did a few things wrong at the beginning, but I've learnt a lot more now about things like diet and nutrition. I'm going to keep going at middleweight, but down the line that is definitely something I would consider.
Sherdog.com: The web is abuzz at the moment with rumors regarding your friend Quinton Jackson playing Mr. T in the “A-Team” remake. Have you spoken to him about it and is acting something that you are considering?
Bisping: I haven't spoken to him in a few weeks now and it’s not really my place to comment, but I've got a couple of things in the works. I'm working with a film script that’s being made and we'll see what happens.
Bisping made a point to express his gratitude to all those who have supported him. To find out more on “The Count,” check out Bisping.tv.