Michael Bisping has fought some tough guys in his past, however the toughest of all may be his UFC 89 opponent Chris Leben. Bisping is 2-0 since dropping to the middleweight division, and he knows that a in Saturday’s battle could place him just another win or two away from getting a shot at champion Anderson Silva.
“Whoever wins this fight moves onwards and upwards towards title contention…you kind of fall back to the middle of the pack, for the loser. So obviously, a lot riding on it,” Bisping stated.
Leben has built up a reputation as a tough-as-nails brawler. In fact, street fighting is what brought him to MMA. It taught Leben how to take a punch, as well as deliver one. However, Bisping thinks that mentality may not be the smartest tactic at the professional level, especially if you want to establish a long-term career.
“I think it’s well-documented that the guy can take a good punch,” Bisping said. “We’ve all seen it. He takes a good shot. That’s all well and good, you know. Whether it’s the smartest game plan in the world is another thing, but yeah, Chris is tough. I’m not underestimating him whatsoever. He takes a good shot and he lands a good shot himself.”
Knowing that this fight could very well turn into an old fashioned street fight, Bisping is intending to come into the bout a little bit bigger than usual. He knows that he needs to have his body ready to handle the extra abuse that it might be taking, but in order to dish out additional abuse as well.
“I’m probably going to come in a bit heavier this time than I have in the past, because I know I can cut a little bit,” said Bisping.