Michael Bisping wants to make more UFC history in Manchester
At the age of 37, Michael Bisping became Britain's first UFC champion. Now he wants to create more history.
'The Count' stunned former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 after flooring him with two devastating punches and finishing him off against the cage.
It was Bisping's first ever title fight and hard-earned after he defeated former middleweight supremo Anderson Silva at London's O2 Arena. That victory was his fourth on the bounce.
The newly crowned champ wants to be the first British fighter to defend his UFC belt on home soil and he has picked a city. He told The Sun:
"The first defence in Manchester would be an absolute dream come true. It would just be incredible. That would be a fairytale."
Bisping fought at the Manchester Evening News Arena on the UFC 105 card headlined by Randy Couture's fight with Brandon Vera, in 2009. The Lancastrian defeated Denis Kang by TKO in the second round to claim Fight of the Night honours.
Finishing up the trilogy with Rockhold - both men have a win apiece - would be popular but Chris Weidman, who lost to Rockhold at UFC 194, would also push for a title shot.
The vanquished Rockhold, meanwhile, has taken to Instagram to explain why it got so heated between himself and Bisping at the post-UFC 199 press conference.
A trilogy is inevitable https://t.co/2G57o10Q1S
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 5, 2016
The California accused Bisping of lacking class after he had won the fight. Rockhold commented:
'Verbal warfare and fight hype is one thing, but that moment following the outcome of a fight is where a man's true character shines.
'After our first fight I picked him up off the canvas and gave him his due respect. Bisping went out of his way to come across the cage not to shake my hand like a man but to further mock the situation. I felt it was a classless move on his part. Thus the reason I was so pissed off at the press conference.
'I don't believe in kicking a man while he's down.'
Tell that to Chris Weidman.
View this post on Instagram
I love the fight game and all that it offers. It's a chaotic world we live in but the reward far outweighs risk. Allowing the pressure of the situation get to me, I felt the need to preform and make a statement as opposed to staying calculated and winning the fight. I underestimated my opponent and paid for it. Forcing a fight that was unlike me, which left the door open. Credit to Micheal for being the tough guy that he is and capitalizing on the situation. Verbal warfare and fight hype is one thing, but that moment following the outcome of a fight is where a man's true character shines. After our first fight I picked him up off the canvas and gave him his due respect. Bisping went out of his way to come across the cage not to shake my hand like a man but to further mock the situation. I felt it was a classless move on his part. Thus the reason I was so pissed off at the press conference. I don't believe in kicking a man while he's down. I've been here before and I've always learned and grew from these situations. This will be no different. I will go home, heal up, and come back better than ever before. Bisping, I will see you real soon and I will finish this.