It took 10 years, but Michael Bisping will finally get his first shot at an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world title after he was pegged as Chris Weidman's replacement to face Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, which goes down on June 4, 2016, in Los Angles, California.
Despite not being the top choice to replace "All American" -- as Dana White and Co. were looking for Ronaldo Souza -- Bisping is determined to make the most of his last-minute opportunity. Sure, he already has a submission loss to Rockhold, but "The Count" is adamant nothing about the champ scares him.
And as he declared on "The MMA Hour" earlier this afternoon that he's going to bring the fight to Rockhold and will leave the Octagon new 185-pound division champion:
"Look, I know I'm the underdog, Luke is a great fighter, he finishes guys and he's finished me before. But, nothing about Luke scares me, it really doesn't. I know this guy, it's not like I'm going into unknown waters. I know exactly what to expect. Apart from that one head kick that dropped me, none of his shots hurt me at all. I believe I'm faster than him and I have the ability to beat this guy, believe you me. We trained before and I made mince meat out of him. When we fought, God bless him, he got the job done. But, every fight is different and I will approach this fight very differently. I made some mistakes in that last fight -- I closed the distance then I went out of range. I was going in and out the whole time. This time, I am not going to play the long game, I can't afford to do that. He's going to have the better conditioning, let's be honest. If it goes five rounds, I have to go slower, but I am going to look to take him out early by closing the distance, push him up against the fence and unleash what I got and I believe I can take him out."
While "The Count" looks forward to trying to win the title, he is also eager to get the chance to punch Rockhold's "smug face."
"He's a smug asshole, let's be honest. Listen, as I said, I want the shot, want to be the champion, but I have this this inner fight in me, I pride myself in being a fighter, even in school. If there was a kid who was a couple of years older who thought he could beat me in a fight, I was like, 'Cool, let's go to the Castle Field and let's figure it out. I've always been like that, it's to my detriment, of course. Rockhold owns a victory over me, I want to rectify that. I want to set the record straight. Yes, I want to be the victor, world champion, but I also want to beat Luke Rockhold, it is personal to me. And when I look at him, I just want to knock that smug look off his face. I really do because you've never seen someone who walks around so smug. He's just the biggest, smug prick you've seen in your life and I would love another opportunity to punch him in the face and be world champion at the same time."
Bisping is on cloud nine after defeating perhaps the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time in Anderson Silva, a bout "The Count" says many people expected him to lose (watch highlights here). And he finds himself in the same situation this time around, as Bisping is going in a huge underdog. But, that's just how he likes it, as the British brawler would nothing more than to shock the world and become champion all at the same time.
To get up to speed with the latest UFC 199 fight card click here.