File Photo: Sherdog.com
Michael Bisping is looking to settle a score following his convincing unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 114 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
“Wanderlei Silva said he wants a rematch with me. I would love a rematch,” said the British middleweight at the post-fight conference just a couple of hours after his bout.
Bisping dropped a unanimous decision loss to the surging Brazilian striker at UFC 110 last February in Sydney, Australia. But the winner of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” said his victory Saturday over the New Jersey grappler should demonstrate his worthiness to rematch Silva or face other middleweights up the food chain.
“I feel now I’m starting to mature as a mixed martial artist. I’m coming into my own skill-wise and confidence-wise,” said Bisping, who noted that his three career losses have all come to former champions. “I want to keep building on this win and hopefully, towards the end of the year or early next year, I’ll get a title shot. I want to be the first Englishman to win the title. I was the first (Englishman) to win ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ … and I will be the first English world champion.”
Bisping, who became a father to his third child two weeks ago, showed improved striking and wrestling technique during his sound defeat of Miller on Saturday. And though Miller had exploited past opponents with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt skills on the canvas, the 29-year-old fighter hardly attempted to ground Bisping during the 15 minutes. The Lancashire, England, resident got the best of their standup exchanges.
“I thought he was trying to lure me into a false sense of security,” said Bisping of Miller’s somewhat surprising strategy. “I do think part of that was due to my footwork. I was staying out of range of his takedowns, constantly changing my angles. You’ve got to plant your feet and step in front of your opponent if you’re going to shoot on him. I wasn’t giving the opportunity to do that.”
Still, Bisping said Miller proved a difficult opponent to stop.
“I wanted to finish my opponent tonight, but he was very tough obviously,” said Bisping. “Wanting to finish him is one thing, but actually doing it is entirely different. As I said, he was very tough, very durable. I hit him with some big shots, but he was hungry. He wanted to win bad, and he hung in there.”
Bisping, who won nine of his first 13 career bouts via striking, said his inability to finish Miller had little to do with a lack of power.
“If you go speak to my Thai coach, my boxing coach, and my sparring partners, believe me, I hit with power,” said Bisping. I haven’t been getting knockouts lately. I think what it comes down to is subconsciously is that I’ve fought a lot of wrestlers back-to-back…I think subconsciously I started fighting on my back foot because I was so worried about the takedown…and doing that you don’t generate the same power.”
Bisping said he’s working to break that habit by planting his feet more and moving forward in exchanges. The 31-year-old fighter hopes his diligence will pay off in the form of the Silva rematch or another high profile assignment.
“This sounds like such a cliché, but I want to fight the best guys out there now,” said Bisping, who said he’s never turned down any opponent the UFC has put in front of him. “I feel like some of the fights in the past were maybe a little bit too soon, but I’m maturing as a fighter and I’m ready for the challenges.”