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26th Feb 2016

Michael Bisping tells SportsJOE that he wants a shot at the belt after UFC London

Making it count

Tom Victor

Michael Bisping feels he deserves a world title shot if he can beat Anderson Silva at UFC London.

‘The Count’ is one of the best British talents to ever grace the promotion, but he knows a title is missing from his CV and feels victory at the O2 Arena on Saturday will be enough for him to reopen that conversation.

“Regardless of the round, of the time, of the style of finish, a win is all that matters,” he told SportsJOE.

“I’ll go out, I’ll celebrate with my family, I’ll have a couple of drinks, I’ll eat some good food, I’ll have a nice steak, and then a couple of weeks with the children. And then after that I’ll be talking to the UFC and letting them know I want a world title fight.”

The middleweight bout with Silva headlines Bisping’s first London outing in five years, and the 36-year-old is impressed by how much MMA has grown on these shores since he beat Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120.

This weekend’s main card will see two more top 10 middleweights in action as Thales Leites goes up against Gegard Mousasi, and Bisping is impressed by the increased hype around the sport.

“The UFC is growing constantly in presence here in the UK and at the open workouts last night there was a terrific turnout,” he said.

“The arena sold out in 27 minutes, which is incredible. There’s more and more media outlets covering it, it’s in the national newspapers now, so yeah it’s incredible and it’s great to see.”

He said he “understands” why the UFC might be reluctant to bring bigger headline bouts to the UK, given the vastly different pay-per-view model in the United States which he admits “generates massive money”.

But he remains confident the sell-out crowd in London will still be treated to a great show, even if his prediction of victory inside two rounds doesn’t come to fruition.

“Whether it’s one round, two rounds, five rounds, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is getting the win,” Bisping said.

“I’m prepared to go 25 minutes straight at full pace, hard, redlining it from start to finish. Can he do the same? I guess we’re going to find out.”