“Everyone knows who Anderson Silva is. He’s one of the biggest names in the sport, people say the greatest of all time. This fight with Anderson is a big one. I’m going home back to England, in front of my home crowd, my friends, my family, my home nation in the biggest fight of my career. Beating Anderson will validate a lifetime’s hard work. I’m aware of my critics and what they say about my skill set, and they said I’m not good enough. So for me, by going out there, beating Anderson, I can silence those critics. And I can prove that I’m worthy of a title shot. Anderson says that he’s coming for his title. Anderson says that he will be the champion again. He’s wearing these t-shirts, ‘The Spider rises again’ or some Jesus shit. That ain’t gonna happen. That is not gonna happen my friend! I am not the guy you wanna fight to rebuild your career. Simple as that, I’m a bad matchup for anyone in this world, and on my day I will beat anybody. Of course, physically I’m in great shape, but mentally I’m in the best shape ever. February 27, I will put on the performance of my lifetime and I will defeat Anderson Silva.”
Penick’s Analysis: This is the fight Bisping had been trying to work for his entire UFC run while Silva was on top, so now that he’s got it, he’s got another opportunity to pick up what would be the biggest win of his MMA career. He’s been in this position a few times before, though, and he’s yet to get over that hump to truly stake a claim to a title fight. Until he can get that signature win, he’ll remain always in that next tier of fighters, and if he loses this win, that may be permanent. This is as important a fight as Michael Bisping’s ever had, and if he can finally put forth the big performance when it’s called for, perhaps he’ll get his consideration for a title fight. He’s got fighters still in front of him even if he wins, but his case will be as strong as it’s ever been if he leaves London with a victory on Saturday.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Attention iPhone/iPad and Android users, if you’ve enjoyed our app in the past and followed us there, or if you’ve never checked it out, make sure to update to the latest version in the Apple store and/or Google Play store. We’ve launched a new look for the app, in line with our recent desktop overhaul. Make sure to check it out!
For current App users, swipe right to view next article, swipe left to view previous article.