There’s obviously no love lost between defending middleweight champion Michael Bisping and contender Dan Henderson ahead of fight night in Manchester.
Bisping is hoping to exact revenge after he lost seven years ago in Las Vegas thanks to a second-round knockout against Henderson. He maintains he had an off day and is the better fighter. This will be proved once and for all in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“He beat me last time, and good for him,” said Bisping in a Q&A after Wednesday evening’s media workout.
“Make no mistake, I’m looking to finish this guy, simple as that.
“These guys don’t want to see me going out there and outpointing him. I want to punish this guy. He knocked me out and gave me another dig – good for him – but I’m going to knock him out and then help him off the canvas because that’s the kind of guy I am.”
Bisping insisted his only motivation in UFC was winning the next fight, but he did allow himself to look back with pride at the achievement of becoming the UFC’s first British-born champion by beating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June.
“I always wanted to be UFC champion and I never stopped trying,” the 37-year-old said. “I lost some number one contender match-ups but I dusted myself off and got back on it, and here we are today as world champion.”
Bisping has reached the summit of his career as opponent Henderson is about to call time on his own. After 46 professional MMA bouts, he has promised to retire after facing Bisping, and says even taking the belt will not change his mind.
However, that doesn’t mean that his eyes aren’t firmly set on the prize.
“I think it was Michael’s destiny to win that belt so he can give it to me. He might not be awake when he gives it to me, but he’s going to give it to me,” he said.
Fighting talk, if you’ll pardon the pun.