Clitheroe’s Michael Bisping is intent on preserving his untainted record in the UK in a bid to land that elusive shot at the middleweight crown.
The indomitable 34-year-old, who has adopted the lavish surroundings of the Orange County as his home, last fought in his homeland almost three years ago when beating Yoshihiro Akiyama unanimously in the country’s capital.
His last outing in Manchester saw him force a devastating TKO versus Denis Kang at UFC 105 where he earned the fight of the night accolade.
Now Bisping, refusing to extinguish ambitions of a title chance, is focused on dishing out similar punishment to Mark Munoz at the Phones 4 U Arena on October 26th after Chris Weidman’s epic knockout triumph over Anderson Silva flung the championship door wide open.
“I’m undefeated in England and I certainly don’t plan on that changing. Munoz is a tough, solid opponent coming in on the back of a great win against Tim Boetsch. Before that he lost to Weidman who recently knocked out Silva but prior to that he’d won five fights in a row.
“He’s a great wrestler so he’ll want to take me down to the ground and utilise his strengths and use his ground and pound. For me, I’ll be looking to keep it on the feet and knock him out. We’ve both got very set gameplans and it’ll come down to who can implement it the best. I think I’m way better on my feet and I think, without being too disrespectful, I’ve fought a better class of opponent than him.
“It’ll be a close fight, it’s definitely a great match-up and this in some ways is the next number one contender fight.
“If either of us win it impressively then we could be fighting for a title, maybe in early Spring. There’s a lot on the line and this is a big fight in the MMA world for sure.”
Bisping added: “Mark Munoz is one of the nicest guys you’d ever wish to meet. He’s a hard worker and has got a great resume in the UFC and he brings it every time, looking to knock his opponents out. Both of us are completely natural. But all that won’t matter on the night.
“Everyone in the Phones 4 U Arena will want to see me knock him out and that’s what I’ll be working on. I know things are tough in the current economy but it would be awesome to pack the arena.”
Tickets for the show are available from Ticketmaster.