UFC: Michael Bisping insists he is not on the decline ahead of Cung Le fight this weekend
Last Updated: 20/08/14 7:16am
British MMA pioneer Michael Bisping insists that discounting his relevancy on the basis of his last defeat would be a mistake.
The Lancashire middleweight returns to action next weekend at Fight Night in Macau against Cung Le and, for the first time, may be competing to justify his inclusion among the world’s best.
Bisping dropped to no.8 in the 185-pound rankings after a lethargic defeat to Tim Kennedy in April but claims his poor performance isn’t evidence for his decline.
He told Sky Sports: “Rankings are for the casual fan, number four doesn’t necessarily beat number five.
“I was on the side-lines when two or three new middleweights came in and then I lost a fight so it’s natural that I’ve slipped down the rankings.
“But that doesn’t change my ability, what I’m capable of and what I can do. I have the ability to be the world champion."
“Obviously my last fight didn’t go to plan, I took it too quickly. I was on the side-lines for a year with problems with my eye and when I got cleared by the doctor I called the UFC straight away," he continued.
“Within six or seven weeks I was in a main-event. Really, I should have taken some time to get back in the gym and blow off the cobwebs but I wanted to fight – this is how I pay my bills.
“The whole time I couldn’t train properly. Increasing my heart rate increases the pressure in my eye so I couldn’t do any physical activity for a year. I was sat on the couch bored out of my mind.
“As soon as the doctor said I can fight I jumped straight back in, in hindsight I should have given myself a few more months in the gym. I wanted to get back in there asap, I was eager, I missed it.
“He had a gameplan, he took me down and held me down and did nothing on the ground. It was a very displeasing fight for myself and the fans – he was happy because he won but he should be ashamed of himself. It was the most boring fight that anyone could put on.”
The whole time I couldn’t train properly. Increasing my heart rate increases the pressure in my eye so I couldn’t do any physical activity for a year. I was sat on the couch bored out of my mind
Bisping’s eight-year UFC contender status may be on the line against Vietnamese-born Californian Cung Le in the fight capital of Asia.
“I’m going to beat Cung Le then it’s probably a fight with Luke Rockhold – if I beat him it’s a fight for the title.
“Cung is 42 and that will play a factor. I’m 35 and it was easier when I was 30, I can’t lie. So I’m assuming it’s easier to do at 35 than when you’re 42.
“I’m taller and I’ve got a reach advantage, I’m in better shape because he’s got a history of gassing out. But he hits hard and will provide a test but I believe this is my fight.”
Competing in the casino and gambling hub of Macau follows in the footsteps of fellow Brit John Hathaway earlier this year but is otherwise new ground for English sportsmen.
“I’d never been to China but I enjoy being an international fighter.
“It’s not somewhere I ever imagined myself fighting but I’m looking forward to doing so. They’re trying to make Macau into the fight capital of the world after Las Vegas. It’s a great venue, they do a lot of MMA, a lot of Thai boxing and Manny Pacquiao has fought there too. It’s a privilege and a honour to fight there and experience their culture.”