UFC Michael Bisping's Blog
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British fighter Michael 'The Count' Bisping has become one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) rising stars. On 18th October he's going to fight rock hard American southpaw Chris 'The Crippler' Leben at UFC 89 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, and in the build-up he's blogging on the Men's Fitness site. In this last installment, just five days before the most important fight of his life, Bisping explains how Leben's got a surprise coming his way and how he's planning to s
'I'm only doing light training this week. All the hard work is done and I just have to make sure I keep my fitness up and stay mentally prepared. I'll be doing drills, such as twenty-minute pad work sessions, and technique exercises, including submission escapes and positional work with partners. I won't be doing any sprints or sparring because I can't risk pulling a muscle or an accidental clash of heads this close to the fight. That could be game over.
'I'll see Leben at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday. You'll be able to cut the air with a knife but it's unlikely to kick off – we're professional sportsmen, not thugs.
'I think Leben's game plan will be to rush me, push me up against the ropes and beat me up there. I've been watching all his old fight tapes and training with some the guys he's worked with in the UK so I'm ready for him no matter what he does.
'I know he's going to be a tough opponent but I'm no pushover myself. I've only ever been beaten once and that was by split points decision. I think Leben is underestimating my punching power and ability to soak up punishment. He's in for a rude awakening!
'Although I know I can beat him, on the day I'll still suffer from pre-fight nerves. Not because I'm scared to fight Leben – I really can't wait to prove myself against him. No, it's because there's pride at stake – the fight is going to be on TV in 150 countries and I'd hate to lose in front of all the millions of people who will be watching it.
‘To cope with this I'll think about all the hard work I've put in, my family and the life I want to provide for them, and what winning this fight will do for my career – that will really gee me up and get me ready to rumble.
'On the day of the fight I'll do very little – I will get up early, have a healthy breakfast, then watch some TV. When you're headlining the event, as I am this time, you normally fight at 10pm and have to get to the arena for 5 or 6pm.
‘When I get there, I'll try to sleep in the changing room. If I can't nod off, I'll just close my eyes and relax my mind. It's vital that you don't expend too much energy worrying about the fight because you’ll be shattered by the time you step into the ring and that could be disastrous.
'I've been living like a monk in the run up to this fight and once I've finished with Leben I'll let my hair down a bit. I'm going to have a couple of beers and stuff my face like a fat pig. It's going to be quite sickening to watch but highly enjoyable and highly deserved.'
For more information on Mike Bisping go to bisping.tv
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For more information on UFC 89 go to 89.ufc.com