Exclusive UFC 78 Interview: Michael Bisping, MMA Fighter
Exclusive UFC 78 Interview: Michael Bisping, MMA Fighter

English Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Michael Bisping, will match up against Rashad Evans in the UFC 78 main event on Saturday, November17th. Bisping took some time to talk to BuddyTV about his main event fight, his response to Matt Hamill's comments, and who he'd like to face in the octagon. Check out the full interview transcript and the mp3 audio below.

Hi I'm Rob Symington with BuddyTV and I'm here with Michael Bisping today. How are you doing Michael?

I'm good thanks, how are you?

I'm doing all right. It's really great to have you as an interview guest today on BuddyTV and I'm really looking forward to watching your upcoming fight against Rashad Evans. You're coming off a fight with Matt Hamill that was a split decision and one of the things you said was you thought you maybe over trained for that one a bit so how are you feeling going into this fight?

Yeah. Absolutely, I mean, I did definitely over train for that fight. I remember at the time members of my camp say they suspected I over trained and in the past that's something I've never had problems with. I've always trained excessively hard and it'd never been a problem. I kind of ignored the comments to be honest. Then after that fight when I was back in the Gym and training with my team members I realized the difference in my performance. I realized I was more stronger and things like that. I was definitely over trained. So this time I just took thinks a little easier ... this time I just started training a little bit more sensibly. Looking at my body a little bit. If my body is feeling fatigued, I may just take the afternoon off. Just not pushing myself that hard. I mean, I'm still training very hard, I'm just starting to be a little bit more clever about it.

Is it hard for you to hold back a little bit?

Um, yeah because, that's just the way I am. You know I always think while I'm stuck at home, my opponent is probably out training so I've got to train, I've got to train. I always want to do one more round ... or whatever. That's who I am, you know? As my career is evolving and going along, I'm learning more things. I'm learning more things about the game and my own training and my own body. I'm realizing that you can still get in great shape without having to put yourself at risk of injury or risk of overtraining.

Yeah. Definitely. I think that's a really good evolution in being able to read that more, but I also think that your drive to push you to train more and more has definitely got you to be where you're at so I definitely can respect that.

Yeah. Absolutely, I mean that is definitely why I've got where I'm at. So I'm still going to recognize that and still continue to do that. But at the same time, certain things need changing and tweaking as you go along.

Right. So you've talked a little bit about Rashad Evans and it sounds like you really do respect him. You think he's a good guy, you think he's a nice guy, but what do you think of Rashad Evans as a fighter?

Like you said, I do like the guy. We did some PR together at the start of the year and we spent a whole weekend together, and we got along. It's hard to find something bad about the guy. As a fighter ... obviously he's not very good at wrestling. He always seems to be very good cardio-wise, he never really seems to ever tire in a fight. If anything I'd say sometimes he seems to be a little bit ... not lazy, but he definitely fights at a set pace. He sets a pace and keeps that pace throughout the fight. But he is definitely a talented fighter. Obviously there are one or two things where I've spotted his weaknesses perhaps, and I'm going to try to capitalize on that, but on the whole he's very complete. He's a good fighter and I'm looking forward to stepping up to the challenge.

I think this is going to be a great match-up for you guys.

Yeah. Me to. Some of the forms are saying this is the main event and this and that. I don't necessarily cross myself as a main-event style fighter. This has been a whirl-wind. First I was on the Ultimate Fighter and now I'm here. I definitely think this is going to be a fight where it is the main event. I think we're going to out there, I know I am, and give it 110% and I can only assume that Rashad is going to do the same. So, I'm sure the fans aren't going to be disappointed with the fight.

What's your prediction for the fight? How do you think you're going to finish him?

I think I'm going to win by TKO to be honest. I always think I'm going to win. You don't win any fight unless you think you're going to win. I think I'm going to win by TKO quite early on in the fight.

One other thing I wanted to ask you about, have you heard Matt Hamill's comment about you just using his surgery as a way to get out of the fight? And I wanted to see what you thought about that.

Yea. I contacted the UFC. At the time I didn't realize the controversy, but some people thought otherwise. He won the first round, I won the last few rounds. Then when I heard a lot of people thought otherwise, I was willing to fight him again because I want the fans to respect me. So I called the UFC and they said: ‘Okay, let's do a rematch.' I think originally we called Joe Silva and he said: ‘Yeah, there's scheduled to be a match for November 17th.' Then I got an email from Joe Silva saying the fight was off, Matt was having surgery, the fights off. So, damn, but whatever. Then it turns out Tito couldn't fight Rashad, I don't know the details so I cant really go into them, then Joe Silva is caught with a man who can't fight in Rashad's fight so, what's the logical thing to do but match us against each other. So that's how this fight came around. So then I got a call from Joe Silva saying do you want to fight Rashad. And I said of course, I'd love to. For Matt Hamill to think me fighting Rashad had anything to do with him, well, he needs to get over himself. Not every move I make is concerning Matt Hamill.

Yeah. I bet you'll be happy when all that's in the past.

Yeah. That's why I just want to get in there so fast, you know?

Yeah. Just get it done.

Yeah. It definitely wasn't the worst performance of my life, but it definitely wasn't my best. I don't want to come across as arrogant but I'm 15-0 now and just to get to that is pretty hard. I went out and had a bad night, and still managed to get the win. I want to get back in there and get back to my top form. So yeah, I'll be glad when that's all gone and can talk about something else.

I think this is definitely going to be a good change of fights that happened here in UFC 78. I think it's actually really interesting to see you and Rashad put up together, especially since you were both winners of The Ultimate Fighter, I don't think you can really go wrong there.

Yeah, absolutely. From a fans perspective, I think it's a great main event. Obviously hardcore fans who have been there before, those are very hard to please. Younger fans, the ultimate fighter generation if you will, I think for them this is great. It's ultimate fight two versus three. So, it's a good fight.

I agree. So, you have any rituals or things you do for good luck before all your fights?

Um, not really. I was talking to my manager today, and it's not really a ritual, well I guess it's playing into a ritual, but we always tend to go watch a movie the night before a fight. We were saying this today: ‘Let's go watch a movie.' And I guess it's a tradition without knowing it. There's nothing weird though that I can think of. Nothing headline worthy that I can think of. So, no. Sorry.

That's all right. Who are your favorite mixed martial artists to watch currently?

Well, I think you can't help but love to watch Anderson Silva. He's just absolutely awesome. Every time I see the guy fight, he blows me away to be honest, you know? With his strategy. His all around ground game. His attitude. His control. So that for me personally means Anderson Silva is the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. So he's be on the top of my list. Obviously I love watching Randy fight.

You talk about all these guys that you like to watch fight, is there anybody in particular that you'd like to see yourself up against in the octagon?

I'm getting to the point now where ... (laughter). Are you trying to get me to call people out here? I can honestly from my heart say that, there isn't anyone that I think I want to fight. Obviously, I'd love to have the title one day ... that's every fighters dream. But there isn't anyone that's in my head that I'm thinking: ‘I want to fight him. I want to fight him.' The UFC, after each fight, they call me up pretty quickly to say who's next on the table. I just leave it all up to them and I'm happy to let things go that way. I seem to be making the right steps, you know? I mean my next fight is against Rashad and that's obviously a step-up and I suppose after that, whoever wins that, the next fight will be another step-up. So, I'm just happy to let nature take it's course, you know?

Great. So, what do you think you'd be doing if you weren't a fighter?

I don't know? I put so much of my life, so much effort of my life into this. I used to be heavily involved in music. I used to DJ at nightclubs and stuff. I always enjoyed that. So yeah, that's what I was putting all my energy into before I kind of made it in fighting, if you will. So I assume If I wasn't doing this right now I'd still be trying to make a living out of music, you know? Producing and things like that.

Is there any particular type of music you like to listen to while you train?

When I listen to music and when I train I like to listen to all kinds. When I was out DJ'ing and things like that ... what I'm saying is anything that has a good beat to it. Anything from Linkin Park to hip-hop to techno music. Anything that's got a good beat.

Do you know what song you're going to be walking out to on UFC 78 yet?

I do, yeah. It's Puff Daddy and Jimmy Paige “Come with Me” from the Godzilla soundtrack.

Right. Nice. Okay, Cool.

Every time I go running and that song comes on, I always have to speed up. So I thought Id put that on to excite me for a little bit.

So do you guys pretty much get to pick whichever music you want to walk out to?

Yeah. Pretty much. We just send an email saying what song we'd like to use and I think something at the UFC has to make sure it's useable, and if it is, obviously that's the green light.

Alright. Lastly for you, are you going to be making any appearances in New Jersey before UFC 78?

I'm not sure yet. I'm sure the UFC will have a big schedule, they normally do. I've never been a main event before, so I'm sure they have a whole PR list of things for us to do. I'm going to be getting to New Jersey a week before the fight, so I'm hoping to do some sight seeing, I'm looking to go to New York. And like I said, I'm sure the UFC will have a lot of things for us to do. So, I'm sure there will be a few appearances, but I'm just not sure what they're going to be.

Right. Alright Michael, well I really want to thank you for your time today. And from all of us at BuddyTV
we wish you good luck and much success on November 17th. And, thanks Michael.

My pleasure. And if fans want to know more about my fight or charity, they can go to my website at Bisping.tv

Interview Conducted By: Rob Symington
(Image Courtesy: point-spread.com)