Bisping out to 'punish' Belcher
Bisping aims to return to UFC middleweight title contention
By Jack Woodfield - Tweet me @JWoodfield365. Last Updated: 09/03/13 1:14pm
Michael Bisping: Doesn't believe that Belcher is in his league
British star Michael Bisping plans to "punish" Alan Belcher when the two middleweights meet at UFC 159 in April.
Months of bad blood has transpired between the two rivals, and tensions further escalated after a video made this week by Belcher and NFL star Wallace Gilberry.
Gilberry, a friend of "The Talent", issued a challenge for Bisping, putting his $300,000 Rolls Royce Phantom up against anything of equal value that Bisping owns, if Belcher can knockout "The Count" in the first round of their bout.
Bisping responded with a video of his own, largely mocking Belcher and his acquaintance, as well as reiterating his confidence heading into the fight.
Both men head into their collision coming off defeats in their previous outings, with Bisping suffering a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort, while Belcher fell at the hands of Yushin Okami.
Redemption is a path both hope to travel on April 27 and there is no doubt in Bisping's mind that it will be his hand raised in the Octagon.
"He's a tough guy," Bisping told skysports.com. "I'm not underestimating him but I don't believe that he is in my league. I'll look forward to punishing him and making a show out of him.
"He's been calling me out for a long, long time and it's time to shut him up. Up until my last fight he was making a lot of noise regarding the next challenger being himself, and so was I obviously, but my last fight didn't go to plan either.
"I'm looking to get back into the title mix so this is an important fight for both of us. I'll recharge and look to get back to winning ways. It has all the ingredients for an amazing fight."
Bisping was in title contention before his loss to Belfort, and victory over his rival will be imperative if the veteran is ever to challenge for the UFC middleweight championship.
"The Count" has never lacked self-belief, and he firmly believes that his battle with Belcher can scoop Fight of the Night honours at an event headlined by Jon Jones v Chael Sonnen.
"It has all the ingredients to be fight of the night. His boxing is going to come out but he has nothing that I fear against him," Bisping said.
"I'm not worried about him taking me down or his knockout power and I think everything will end up playing into my hands.
"I'm always confident I can get fight of the night. I'm going to go 100% straight at him and he'll do the same."