Mike Bisping interview with the Fighting PhotographerBack in the UK after a six week training programme with Quinton Rampage Jackson, Mike is back at the Wolfslair Gym, training hard in preparation for his showdown with Matt Hamill at UFC 75 in London September 8th……..
Carl Fisher: Just been watching you train Mike, looking sharp mate; is everything going well?
Mike Bisping: Yes it’s going fine since I returned to the UK, it’s great training here at the Wolfslair, it’s a great set up and the training in the US was very helpful training at altitude. My fitness feels fantastic, been doing three five minute rounds every day and not even feeling tired, so it’s all going well.
CF: What was like up at Big Bear Mountain? Have you done high altitude training before?
MB: I was out there shy of four weeks, in terms of the gym out there it was nothing fancy or different; you’re 8000 feet up a mountain which helped with my fitness a lot Sometimes there would be twenty or so guys to come train with us and help us out, world class wrestlers helping us as well. I’d be up at half six every morning for a run and then two training sessions a day so it was pretty intense. I’ve never done high altitude training before but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be; it was hard at first but after a day or two I adjusted pretty well.
CF: Let me say congratulations on your win over Elvis Sinosic; what was like coming up to the cage on home turf?
MB: Nothing could have prepared me for the reception I got, nothing, it was out of this world; I don’t wish to sound arrogant but boxing writers reported they hadn’t seen anything like it for guys like Tyson, the fans were unbelievable. I’m assuming it’s going to be the same in London, so I am preparing myself for that, as the adrenaline got to me a little in Manchester, it could have easily cost me the fight back then.
CF: The crowd got you charged up, you tore through Sinosic with out hardly breaking a sweat; what are we going to see in London Mike?
MB: More of the same.
CF: There’s no love lost between you two is there?
MB: That’s right Carl, he doesn’t like me, I can’t stand him to be honest, so it’s going to be an ever sweeter victory for me; there’s no secret to what’s going in the fight, he’s going to try and take me down and I want to stay on my feet. He is a phenomenal wrestler, so keeping it on my feet isn’t going to be easy, but if he thinks he can take me down at will, he’ll be in for a shock, my defences have gotten better, I’ve been working on them a lot. I think my conditioning is better than his and the longer the fight goes on, the more it’s going to swing in my favour. When he shoots in he’s going to get hit in the face and they’ll start to take effect and fingers crossed the knock out. If he does take me to the floor, he’s in danger of getting submitted as well; I submitted him on the show a few times and my subs have improved since then, plus my ground and pound defence is very good as well. There isn’t a lot he can do to me on the floor apart from control me, I can’t see him ground and pounding me or submitting, so the only way I can see him winning is by a boring decision.
CF: I doubt you’ll let that happen, you’re a bit too much explosive for that outcome?
MB: (Laughs) Fingers crossed yeah
CF: I’ve been speaking to Quinton’s team members today and they all have a lot of respect for you; how does it feel, being so short into your UFC career, that they have taken to you so much, as it’s been quite a meteoric rise?
MB: It has been a meteoric rise, you’re right yeah, I mean being on TUF obviously helped and I have crossed paths with Quinton a few times, so it’s taken on from there. In terms of the UFC it has been a meteoric rise and some times I can’t believe it myself, not too long ago I was training with you at your club in Bolton on a Monday and Wednesday night, things have changed fast. That was the plan from the start though, this is where I wanted to be and did the things necessary to get where I am today.
CF: Will you train with these guys again?
MB: Yeah, out two teams are going to be working a lot; Juanito will be helping me out in the US, on a managerial level and we’ll be working a lot with the two camps so yeah it’s looking good.
CF: What next after UFC 75?
MB: There’s talk they may want me for the New Year’s eve show, whether or not I can do is another thing, I’ve not had a Christmas at home for three years now, so we’ll have to see. That said I do want to get another fight in this year, we’ll see what happens.
CF: Callum is at your side here; what was it like when he came into the cage in Manchester?
MB: For me that was the best moment, when I watch the fight it’s great but when Dana brings him in and he does a flying knee, it really pulls on my heart strings and made me really proud.
CF: Does he enjoy watching you train? Does he get a buzz out of having a UFC star as a dad?
MB: He doesn’t really make a big deal out of it to be honest, he’s grown up with it, it’s like my office job, all his mates think it’s great though, it’s not a novelty for him, you know what I mean.
CF: How does your partner support you?
MB: I couldn’t wish for a better partner, she is behind me 100 per cent, she never questions it right from day one, she knows I’m doing it for a better life for our family and it’s working. One time we were broke you know, struggling along and now we’re living a better life, paid off the mortgage, money in the bank, nice car, holidays you know. She’s happy (laughs).
CF: Well she’s the main one to please eh? You might be feared in the cage but you know where you stand at home?
MB: (Laughs) yeah you’re dead right there Carl, put it this way, she gets her hair done a lot more frequently than she used to (laughs).
CF: Well best of luck Mike next week, always a pleasure to catch up with you; from myself and from all the fight fans in the UK, we wish you well for London.
MB: Cheers Carl, thanks a lot mate.