Recovering from the Henderson knockout
For Michael “The Count” Bisping, the event symbolized the lowest point in his mixed martial arts career. Falling victim to the vicious power Dan Henderson wields in his right hand, Bisping was knocked out cold after stating numerous times that the PRIDE superstar would be unable to score the knockout.
The devastating loss pushed Bisping into a situation requiring a lot of work. The British fighter longed for redemption and found what he so adamantly sought at UFC 105 against Denis Kang, scoring a technical knockout victory. Yet Bisping’s quest was far from over, as he looked to build upon his comeback trail against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110.
Unlike the Henderson fight, Bisping managed to survive the vicious power and barbaric pace set forth by the highly dangerous PRIDE veteran, but fell short on the judges’ scorecards. The loss, Bisping’s second in three fights, has brought him to UFC 114, where he will face New Jersey native Dan Miller in the co-main event of the evening, granting Bisping another opportunity at redemption in the middleweight division.
Like Bisping, Miller is also riding a two-fight losing streak and is also in search of redemption of his own, not to mention job security. But Bisping understands Miller’s situation, while realizing that a victory over his tough opponent would push him back into the upper echelon of the middleweight division.
“Really looking forward to the fight. I respect Dan Miller a lot,” stated Bisping in his official video blog leading up to the fight. “I’ve watched some of his fights. He’s a very talented grappler and a great MMA fighter, and I look forward to the challenge.”
Bisping’s bout with Miller is set for May 29 at UFC 114 and comes just over three months after his loss to Silva in Australia. Like many UFC fighters looking to rebound from a prior loss, Bisping expressed his desire to compete as soon as possible following the loss, making it clear to his boss, UFC president Dana White, that he was ready to get back into the cage against a tough opponent in the near future.
“Obviously, it’s very quick after my last fight against Wanderlei,” stated Bisping. “I wanted to get in there straight away after the Wanderlei fight. I said to Dana I didn’t have a mark or anything on me. I didn’t have a scratch on me. I was good to go. I could’ve done another three rounds on the night straight away. So I said I wanted to fight ASAP.”
With his wish being granted by the UFC executives, Bisping went back to the drawing board in search of a way to rebound from his recent troubles.
Fortunately for him, his future opponent does not have the striking power of Henderson or Silva, as Miller has only one career knockout. But that fact does not change Bisping’s desire to continuously improve as a professional mixed martial artist, realizing that changes are necessary if he ever wants to hold the coveted UFC middleweight title. According to “The Count,” training is going well and changes are being made to accommodate future success.
“ (I) feel good, feel strong,” explained Bisping. “Training’s been going fantastically. Mixed a few things up for this camp, so I should have a few new tricks.”
Following his victory over Josh Haynes in “The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 Finale”, Bisping rolled through several opponents to gain him top status among Britain’s best mixed martial artists. However, his losses to Henderson and Silva have dimmed the bright light that once shined around “The Count”, sending him on a search for redemption in the Octagon and with his fans.
On May 29, Bisping will have that opportunity opposite Dan Miller at UFC 114, which is headlined by a light heavyweight grudge match between fellow Wolfslair fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans. It would be unfair to say Bisping is looking to salvage his career at this point, considering he is still one of the more notable middleweights in the UFC, but it is not a stretch.
Bisping’s poor fortune over the past year has cost him dearly, making his fight with Dan Miller of great importance. This Saturday, “The Count” fights for redemption inside the cage and respect out of it, as he looks to once again be held high in the eyes of the fans and in the ranks of the 185-pound division.