Much is riding on Michael Bisping’s middleweight clash with Alan Belcher at UFC 159, a fact that appears to be lost on neither fighter.
Though Belcher initially threw down the gauntlet by wagering tattoos and expensive automobiles against the Brit, Bisping has shown little interest in what he has called “stupid bets.” Instead, the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner has stuck to straight-ahead verbal barbs in the lead-up to his meeting with Belcher at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
“A win over me, for Alan Belcher, would be by far the biggest win of his pathetic career,” Bisping said Monday during a media conference call. “It’s in the bag. It’s a formality. All I’m going to do is show up, slap you in the face, take my check and go home.”
Naturally, Belcher disputed that proposed outcome to Saturday’s duel, but “The Talent” did agree with Bisping’s stance on just what a victory in this fight would accomplish for both men. Though Bisping has come close to earning a title shot in nearly seven years with the promotion, “The Count” has yet to secure a crack at Anderson Silva’s belt. Most recently, Bisping was knocked out by Vitor Belfort on Jan. 19 in a result that once again derailed the Brit’s title aspirations.
“You’re only as good as your last fight, and my last fight was a loss. I don’t take that too well. I want to win fights, I’m a natural competitor,” said Bisping. “A win over Alan Belcher puts me back in the win column. It’s a win over a top-10 opponent and it gets me back in the mix for a title shot. As long as there’s life in my body, I’ll continue to try and get a title shot. I’m a fighter. I want to be the world champion. As long as my body can do it, I’m gonna keep trying.”
According to Bisping, there is indeed plenty of life left in his 34-year-old frame, a fact evidenced by his current physical status heading into his showdown with Belcher.
“Health-wise, going into this fight, I’m fantastic,” said Bisping. “We train hard and accumulate little injuries here and there, but there’s nothing that's going to hinder my performance and stop me from destroying Alan Belcher.”