USA TODAY: Bisping, Belcher ratchet up feud before UFC 159


alan-belcher-13.jpgOne year ago, middleweights Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping were considered two of the best 185-pound fighters in the UFC. After Saturday night, one of them will be further away from title contention than at almost any point in his career.

“You’re only as good as your last fight, and my last fight was a loss,” Bisping said. “I don’t take that too well, you know? I want to win fights. I’m a natural competitor. And, you know, a win over Alan Belcher puts me back in the win column.

“As I say, I get redemption for my last fight. It’s a win over a top 10 opponent.”

Bisping (23-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Belcher (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) meet in the co-headliner of Saturday’s “UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen” event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card airs on pay-per-view (10 p.m. ET) after prelims on FX (8).

Bisping is widely considered the best MMA fighter England has produced. As the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 3,” he has been a perennial UFC middleweight contender. Yet each time “The Count” has stood on the cusp of a title shot, he has fallen short, as he did in January with a TKO loss to Vitor Belfort.

Belcher, meanwhile, has battled through numerous injuries the last few years and finally seemed primed to break out. But a December loss to Yushin Okami ended his four-fight winning streak.

“We’re both coming off losses,” Belcher said. “We both have losses in our career, wins in our career, and now we’re going to see who the best is out of us two.”

Surprisingly, UFC 159's headlining matchup between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and outspoken challenger Chael Sonnen has proved largely void of emotion.

That’s not the case in the co-feature. Bisping and Belcher have lobbed verbal jabs at each other for years.

Belcher suggested the tension, which has boiled over in recent weeks, would fuel his performance.

“It is emotional for me, and that’s when I perform at my highest,” Belcher said. “I have the most pressure on me. I’mthe most nervous for this fight ever. The only fights that I’ve ever lost are the fights that I wasn’t very excited for.”

That won’t be the case Saturday. Neither fighter can afford consecutive losses in the UFC’s increasingly talent-rich middleweight division, especially when both have a shot at division kingpin and longtime champion Anderson Silva as their ultimate goal. One only has to listen to Bisping to know what the contest means for both fighters.

“A win over me for Alan Belcher would be by far the biggest win of his pathetic career,” Bisping said. “I ain’t going to lose to you, man. It’s in the bag. It’s a formality. I’ve just got to show up, slap your little, take my check and go home.”

For more on UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Alan Belcher)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 29 views

UFC fighters such as Michael Bisping, Tyron Woodley, and others gave their predictions for the upcoming Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier title fight at UFC 182. UFC 182 is upon us and so is the highly an read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 13 views

The UFC has high hopes for brash Irishman Conor McGregor, who is just one win away from a shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo, but before their most recent excursion into Western Europe, there w read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 1 views

One year ago today, everything was set up quite nicely for Travis Browne. Then Fabricio Werdum threw a massive wrench into the works. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC 186 in filling up fast. After the announcement of T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao and Rory MacDonald vs. Hector Lombard as the main and co-main events, the promotion has added more match-ups to th read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 3 views

While World Series of Fighting (WSOF) executives likely expected to be the main topic in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community tonight with WSOF 17: "Shields vs Foster" (results here), Ultimate Figh read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 2 views

With a 6-8 record in the UFC, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua might change a few things for his next fight. Finished for the third time in the past four bouts after his last appearance against Ovince Saint Pre read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

Despite the magnitude of UFC 182 and a number of pivotal matchups, this week’s USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings didn’t see many changes, and a familiar name remains on top.Filed under: Bellato read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 1 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) with guests Michael Bisping, Tom Watson and Ed Herman.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 15 views

Well now ... this is interesting. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua might not be ready to make that long-rumored drop to middleweight just yet, but " read news >>