Michael Bisping fights Cung Le in the main event of a FightPass card in Macau, China in August. Bisping has alternated wins and losses his last six fights, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Tim Kennedy in April.
Bisping appeared Monday on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, to talk about the fight.
"Instantly, I thought, 'Wow, this is cool.' I've love being in international fights for the UFC," said Bisping as transcribed by Luke Thomas for MMAFighting. "I've always wanted to travel to China, but I haven't had the reason to yet. And here we are. I'm off to Macau and I'm thoroughly excited. Excited to be back in there with an exciting stylistic fighter like Cung Le. He brings it every time. Like I said, he has an exciting style. Lots of kicks and punches. It's going to be a great striking battle."
"Cung Le isn't taking me down and I won't take him down. This fight has fireworks written all over it and that's why I'm excited for the match up. It'll be a great striking battle.
"I'm really looking forward to main eventing in China and I'm going to give people what they paid to see. I feel like I didn't live up to my words last time."
"I get to make up for that last fight. That was a poor performance and very, very boring fight. I don't work so hard to take part in boring fights."
"He took me down, held me down for a while. That scores points. He got the decision. It is what it is. You say congratulations and you move on."
"The Count" moved on, but part of that process is figuring out what went wrong. Bisping cited over familiarity with his sparring partners as a factor in his underwhelming performance last fight vs. Tim Kennedy. No one could take him down, so sparring sessions turned into kickboxing practice, not what was needed for Kennedy.
"t was a disappointing fight," said Bisping. "Maybe a little ring rust, obviously. I had a lot of surgeries and spent a lot sitting on my couch recovering. Maybe that played a factor."
"I think what it was, I knew straight away what had gone wrong in the preparation. My coaches did a great job, but I was struggling for training partners and specifically, wrestlers. And the sparring. The sparring bouts turned into kickboxing matches.
"That was the difference. He just wanted to wrestle from the get go and in rounds 1 and 3, he was successful with that. And he was successful with holding me down once he got them. He didn't try for much else apart from holding me down for dear life. The preparation failed in that respect.
"Lesson learned. You dust yourself off, as I said, and you get back on the horse."
"I would love to say the eye played a factor in the fight because that'd be a great excuse, but the eye wasn't a factor at all. I wish it was. I wish I could pinpoint it down to that. It wasn't the eye, no. Confidently, it wasn't the eye. There's nothing wrong with the eye."
Bisping then turned to the future.
"I've got a point to prove: a point to prove to myself and the paying public, that you should still watch my fights, that I'm still a contender. But that all starts with Cung Le. Apologies for the last fight. I was trying my best, but only one of us wanted to fight and that was me. The other guy didn't engage."
"I want to continue my march towards a title shot."
"Listen, I've never lost two in a row in my life and I'm coming off of a loss. It's as simple as that. I'm coming off of a loss and I don't intend to make it two losses in a row. So yeah, my back's up against the wall.
"I'm proclaiming to be one of the best out there and losing fights doesn't really go hand-in-hand with being one of the best. I've got to go out there and got a point to prove: a point to prove to myself, to my supporters, to my haters, to the UFC, to my family, everything.
"Of course, yeah, my back's against the wall."