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Bisping cracks bad joke but promises new approach

ESPN staff
May 18, 2010 « Westwood eyes No. 1 spot | ESPN FA Cup Promo »
Michael Bisping is changing his ways for Dan Miller

Michael Bisping cracked a pretty shameful joke before telling ESPN.co.uk that he is training himself to become a totally different fighter ahead of his clash with Dan Miller.

Bisping clashes with American grappler Miller at UFC 114 on May 29, having lost two of his previous three fights. The Wolfslair man was knocked out by Dan Henderson and decisioned by Wanderlei Silva, either side of a TKO victory over Denis Kang.

The 31-year-old, who was one win away from a shot at the UFC middleweight title before he lost to Henderson, has grown tired of under-performing on the big stage, and he is convinced he has found the problem. Having fought Rashad Evans, Matt Hamill, Charles McCarthy and Jason Day in consecutive bouts, Bisping believes he become a back-foot fighter, something he plans to change against Miller.

"I never underestimate anybody, and Dan's a tough opponent," Bisping told ESPN.co.uk. "He's a good submissions artist, a relatively decent striker, he's a good wrestler and has good cardio so he's a tough opponent.

"But I think he's a good match-up for me. He won't be able to take me down, I can handle myself on the floor with him, and I've got a big advantage in the stand-up department. I'm looking for a knock-out in this fight.

"I've had some mixed results of late. My last result was a close fight with Wanderlei, I know I'll get bad-mouthed for this but I still think I won the first two rounds of that fight. But I shouldn't have let it go to the judges. That was my error.

"But I take a lot of plusses from that Wanderlei fight. Only now am I beginning to realise my full potential. I haven't fought to my full ability in the past, I'm staying in the pocket in training now - my boxing's come a long way. I'm looking forward to the next 12 months.

"For some reason, I haven't brought half of my game to a fight so far. I think that's partially because I've fought a lot of wrestlers back to back and it's put me on my back foot a little bit. Subconsciously I've started fighting like that.

"I've trained myself to stop doing that."

With the likes of Alan Belcher, Patrick Cote, Nate Marquardt, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort all closer to a title shot than Bisping, the Briton insists he is capable of stringing a run of wins together over the next 12 months.

I'm training now to finish fights and I want to make a run for that title. I can beat those guys [Maia, Belcher, Cote] - none of them are out of my league."

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