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MMA: ‘Resentment’ fuels Bisping aggression towards Le in Macau

Michael Bisping led the trash talking with Cung Le at the weigh-in for Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night Macao: Bisping vs Le at The Venetian. Photos: SportAsia.

Michael Bisping (left) led the trash talking with Cung Le at the weigh-in for Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night Macao at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena. Photos: SportAsia.

August 22, 2014: A fired-up Michael Bisping (25-6-0) said Cung Le (9-2-0) is just a stepping stone on his way to earning a title fight next year, as the English middleweight continued with his pre-fight bravado at the weigh-in for Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night Macao: Bisping vs Le.

 

“I’m going to take this guy out. I respect Cung Le, but believe me, I’m beating him, 100 per cent,” the California-based 35-year-old said at the Cotai Arena weigh-in. “It’s all about taking the belt next year. Next year, the belt is mine, make no mistake.”

 

Bisping, the UFC’s No. 8 contender, is seeking to bounce back from his disappointing defeat to Tim Kennedy in April as he takes on the popular Le in the headline bout at The Venetian Macao.

 

Despite the aggressive posturing throughout the build-up, Bisping said he respects his 42-year-old opponent, who’s fighting for the first time since November 2012, when he stunned Richard Franklin with an overhand right in the first round at The Venetian Macao.

 

“I’ve got nothing against Cung Le,” Bisping told SportAsia. “He seems like a very nice guy, the way he conducts himself. He seems like a decent person. It’s just my job to fight him on Saturday night, so to fuel myself for that, I don’t know … a little bit of resentment always kicks in, but it helps you. We’re going to fight, after all.”

 

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Bisping is coming off his third loss in five fights, while Cung returns to the scene of his last fight in November 2012.

Bisping believes he has the all-round game to match and better Le, describing the Vietnamese-American as a one-dimensional fighter.

 

“He does the same thing each time. That’s the only way he can fight. He’s not well rounded,” Bisping said. “I fight many, many different ways. Saturday night I’m going to go out and beat him at his own game. He wants to come in and throw kicks; I’m going to do the same thing. You’re going to see a great fight.”

 

Le has focused increasingly on films in recent years, but the former Strikeforce middleweight champion is in great physical shape and will have a lot of support in the Cotai Arena crowd, many familiar with his work with Asian movie stars.

 

However, Bisping talks confidently of not only beating Le, but going on and eventually earning a title shot and ultimately fulfilling the potential of a career that has included 19 UFC fights since winning The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale in June 2006.

 

After losing three of his last five, though, Bisping needs back-to-back wins to be in the running for a title shot, but believes he has it within him and that’s he’s only now coming into the prime of his career.

 

UFC President Dana White separates the fighters after a lengthy exchange of words.

UFC President Dana White separates the fighters after a lengthy exchange of words.

“I’m coming off a loss in my last fight, when I came back too soon after my eye injury, but the fact is I’ve been around so long and beaten a lot of good guys, so a good win on Saturday night and I can rebound from my last performance,” he said.

 

“I’m 100 per cent in the best shape of my life. All fighters say this, but I’m performing now at a different level. I feel that I haven’t fought to be best of my ability in the octagon, but secondly, in this training camp, I’m performing better than I’ve ever done, at a level I didn’t know I could – my speed, my power, my footwork – that’s why I’m so confident. It’s not a fool’s confidence. I really do feel that I’m coming into my prime, I really do.”

 

Should he win on Saturday, Bisping is hoping for a match-up against Luke Rockhold, who has been meeting media and fans in Hong Kong and Macau as part of the UFC’s promotional work around the fight.

 

“People are calling Luke Rockhold the No. 1 contender after Vitor Belfort,” Bisping said. “He’s here now and I’m going to beat him. I think they’re setting us up. I’m going to beat Cung Le and then I’m going to fight Luke Rockhold and beat Luke Rockhold and then a title fight after that. I think that’s a logical path, I really do.”

 

In Saturday night’s co-main event, Korean star Kim Dong-hyun (19-2-1) will be seeking his third win at the Cotai Arena when the No. 10-ranked welterweight contender takes on No. 4-ranked Tyron Woodley (13-3). The night opens with the UFC’s first women’s fight in Asia, with American Elizabeth Phillips (4-2) taking on experienced Russian Milan Dudieva (10-3), making her UFC debut.

 

UFC President Dana White, women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and her co-stars in The Expendables 3, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be among the big names watching the action.

 

UFC Fight Night Macao, Cotai Arena, The Venetian Macao, Macau

Women’s Bantamweight Bout 3 Rounds: Elizabeth Phillips vs Milana Dudieva

Bantamweight Bout 3 Rounds: Yao Zhikui vs Royston Wee

Welterweight Bout 3 Rounds: Wang Anying vs Colby Covington

Bantamweight Bout 3 Rounds: Roland Delorme vs Yuta Sasaki

Welterweight Bout 3 Rounds: Shinsho Anzai vs Alberto Mina

Welterweight Bout 3 Rounds: Wang Sai vs Danny Mitchell

Main Card

Featherweight Final Bout 3 Rounds: Ning Guangyou vs Yang Jianping

Lightweight Bout 3 Rounds: Zhang Lipeng vs Brendan O’Reilly

Welterweight Bout 3 Rounds: Tyron Woodley vs Kim Dong-hyun

Middleweight Bout 5 Rounds: Michael Bisping vs Cung Le

 

For more information on UFC Fight Night Macao: Bisping vs Le, visit:

http://www.ufc.com/event/ufc-fight-night-macao-cotai-arena

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