Michael Bisping: “I’m Positive I Can Beat Yoshihiro Akiyama”

Written by Tim Ngo
October 11th, 2010

UFC Middleweight Michael Bisping

The U.K.’s most popular mixed martial artist will once again headline another UFC card in England. Although Michael Bisping will battle one of Japan’s most accomplished fighters in Yoshihiro Akiyama this Saturday at UFC 120, the Brit claims he’s got it in the bag.

Fresh off a unanimous decision win at UFC 114 over Dan Miller, “The Count” believes he will be the one that sends “Sexyama” on the first losing streak of his accomplished career.

“Anything can happen on the mat, but, that said, I’ve looked at Akiyama. I’ve looked at his style, I look at the way he fights and I’m positive I can beat him,” Bisping said during a pre-fight conference call.

“I’m improving all the time. I’m a much better fighter than what I was one year ago. I’m feeling like I’m maturing now and I’m really coming into my peak as a mixed martial artist.

“And, as I said, I’m not overlooking Akiyama. I think he’s a very, very tough opponent and I’m sure he’s going to be tough on the mat, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight.”

In order to better acclimate himself to the Octagon, Akiyama spent some time at Greg Jackson’s famed camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico to add some new dimensions to his game. If you ask Bisping, Akiyama may have wasted his time.

“I’m expecting him to come in hard and fast, looking for the knockout. Obviously, he’s got good judo. And I don’t feel a couple of weeks at Greg Jackson’s is ultimately going to make much difference to how he performs,” the middleweight contender explained.

We’ll find out Saturday night if Bisping will continue his ascent towards the top of the UFC’s 185-pound division, or if Akiyama picked up enough knowledge from MMA’s top guru to school England’s favorite son.

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