• UFC on FX 7

Bisping: Belfort will be my greatest moment

ESPN staff
January 19, 2013
Michael Bisping is ready for Vitor Belfort © Getty Images

Michael Bisping is making no effort to disguise the magnitude of Saturday's UFC on FX 7 main event against Vitor Belfort, insisting victory will be the biggest of his career.

Bisping is a veteran of the sport at the age of 33, already clocking up seven years in the UFC, fighting opponents of the calibre of Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.

Against Belfort this weekend the Brit can finally achieve a career goal by booking a middleweight title shot. And based purely on the reputation of the man standing opposite him, Bisping admits victory in Sao Paulo would be the greatest moment to date.

"Yeah definitely. The guy has been heavyweight champion, light-heavyweight champion, he's been No. 1 contender, he's a future Hall-of-Famer and he's a true legend of the sport," Bisping told ESPN.

"I've fought a lot of good strikers. Wanderlei Silva was one, Dan Henderson - although not a very accomplished striker - he's super f***ing effective!

"I've fought a lot better strikers when I was a professional kickboxer, but Vitor is definitely one of the best strikers in MMA.

"His last fight against Jon Jones I wasn't very impressed. If that Vitor turns up I'll be very happy. But I think I'll be fighting a different animal."

It has almost become a cliché that Bisping must survive the first round against knockout expert Belfort on Saturday, but the Brit insists he will not be running scared in the hope that Belfort becomes tired.

"I'll fight a smart gameplan, but I'm coming to fight him. I won't be running away or anything like that," Bisping said. "He's only two years older than me, but he's been through a lot of wars. Whereas I feel fresh, my body feels great and I'm ready to go to war.

"By all accounts he's focused a lot on cardio for this fight because he's fighting me and he knows it's one of my strengths. But people always do that with me.

"The first round will be the toughest, but after that it will play more and more into my hands with every passing round. The first round will be dicey, but the third and fourth rounds, he'll be easy to hit for sure."

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