- UFC on FX 7
Bisping will fight on even if he loses to Belfort
Michael Bisping believes Vitor Belfort will crumble mentally when the two face off this weekend - suggesting the Brazilian looks for the easy way out when fights begin to go against him.
Bisping, 33, is hoping to force a middleweight world title shot against Anderson Silva with a win over Belfort at UFC on FX 7 this weekend - with the Englishman having gone an agonising seven years without getting a chance to fight for the divisional title.
Belfort is considered the narrow favourite going into the contest but Bisping is confident he can emerge victorious - suggesting the Brazilian 'quit' in a recent light-heavyweight world title fight defeat to Jon Jones.
"He definitely had chicken legs, but then thinking about it, he's got the heart of a chicken in some ways as well," Bisping told the Daily Telegraph. "He's a bully if I'm honest. He's an incredible fighter, he's had an incredible career but when I watch his fights, when he's winning and doing well, he's a world beater.
"But if the opponent can take it for a little bit and start to turn the tide, he crumbles mentally and loses focus and finds a way out."
Bisping added: "When he fought Jon Jones, I watched that fight closely and he put his arm there to be submitted. He wanted a way out. He can give it, but he can't take it. He has the body of a lion but the heart of a chicken."
The Brit is taking further encouragement from the fact Belfort did not immediately agree to the fight, revealing a desire to fight an 'easier' opponent.
"I agreed to do the fight straightaway, then as the days were passing, I was speaking to my manager Audie Attar from Paradigm Sports Management, and the bout agreement hadn't come through, and I was told Vitor hadn't agreed to the fight," Bisping recalled.
"I was told he wanted an easier opponent coming of the Jon Jones title fight. I take some satisfaction from that, but ultimately he's signed the bout agreement now, we're going to fight and I'm sure he will come in confident.
"He says the outcome of this fight is already predetermined. I think he's underestimated me, I think he's looking past me and I think he is in for a big shock."
Bisping has never fought in a world title fight in his UFC career, losing a series of crucial fights at inopportune moments to narrowly miss out on the chance he craves. A defeat on Saturday would likely see history repeat itself, but 'The Count' insists he will not walk away from the sport should that happen.
"I've been in the UFC for seven years, and God forbid this doesn't go my way on Saturday night, I'm not going away. I'm not going away that easily," Bisping added, speaking to the MMA Hour. "I'll go away, I'll dust myself off, I'll build myself back up, and I'll be back in this position again. And I will win.
"But right now I'm not even thinking about that. I'm very, very confident. If Vitor beats me on Saturday night, then you'll hear no excuses from me. Fair play to the guy. He beat the best version of me right now."