Clitheroe UFC favourite Michael Bisping believes he is destined to become the organisation’s world Middleweight champion.
And the 34-year-old is adamant that the backing he’ll have in Manchester when he takes on Mark Munoz at the Phones 4 U Arena on October 26th will help him towards his ultimate quest.
The challenge is familiar territory for Bisping. He’s been a number one contender on three occasions prior to this, starting four years ago with defeat to Dan Henderson at UFC 100 in Las Vegas.
Once formidable belt holder Anderson Silva was in his sights again with further title eliminators against Chael Sonnen in Chicago last January and a suspiciously pumped Vitor Belfort eight months ago in the “Phenom’s” native Brazil.
But it’s a learning process that the “Count” has benefited from, it’s a journey that has strengthened his character, and they are career disappointments that have contributed to an unquenchable thirst to succeed.
“I think I’m destined to be world champion one day,” said Bisping. “I’ve got to number one contender match-ups a couple of times and I’ve lost them. To be honest I think it could’ve been a blessing in disguise because I wasn’t quite ready at the time and I’ve learnt from those mistakes.
“I’ve altered my training and I feel I’m ready now. I’m 34, still in my prime, still working hard, I’m in good shape and condition so I’ve still got a lot of life left in me as a fighter. I’m still incredibly hungry to bring that title back to England.”
He added: “When I fight in England I obviously have the home advantage and the crowd is amazing. For one I’m undefeated in England and every time I fight there I win fight of the night. I’ve always had tremendous support and I thank everyone for that. I’m expecting it to be no different this time.
“When I fight in the States I’m the away guy, fighting an American in America, so I tend to get booed a lot of the time. I’m fine with that because it has to be expected. My opponent might get some cheers, as I do over there, but on the most part he’ll get booed.
“In the UK you can liken the crowd to a football match which is something commentators often pick up on. They’re loud, much more vocal, and I know the UFC guys love coming to England. The atmosphere is amazing and you can’t beat an English crowd.”
Tickets for the show are available from Ticketmaster or from the Phones 4 U Arena.