Everyone doubted Michael Bisping’s chances on winning the UFC title when he fought on 17 days’ notice. Everyone except himself, said former contender Mark Muñoz.
[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]B[/mks_dropcap]efore he stepped up as a last-minute contender for the UFC middleweight title, Michael Bisping has already been counted out. Bisping was coming into the match on 17 days’ notice against then defending champ Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Chris Weidman, Rockhold’s original opponent, pulled out of the fight due to an injury.
The logical choice most people had was Rockhold successfully defending against “The Count.” In their initial encounter in Sydney, Rockhold submitted Bisping with a guillotine choke. However, former middleweight contender Mark Muñoz thought their sequel would have a different ending.
During a Q-and-A with Muñoz at Dojo Drifter’s UFC 199 Sunday Showdown, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” admitted his reservations on Bisping’s chances at first, but was later convinced when saw the fire in Bisping’s eyes in preparation for the title shot.
“When I first learned that he got the (title) fight, I was like ‘Oh, it’s probably not a good match-up for you,'” Muñoz said. “But in his (Bisping’s) mind, he was like ‘No. I’m gonna knock him out. I’m gonna get it. Now, but if not, I’ll outlast him.’ So that’s his mind.”
Muñoz added, “He’s a hard worker; he works super hard. As we were training, he wanted to take him down, but as you know, he was taking a lot of body shots and a couple of left hooks. But Luke Rockhold comes in with his hands down and hey, he’s ( Bisping) the champion now.”
Bisping and Muñoz were supposed to face each other in the past, but didn’t materialize because of injuries. It was until when Bisping came to Muñoz’s Reign Training Center following his loss to Tim Kennedy that the two eventually shared the cage. Since then, they helped each other sharpening their game and became eventually became friends.
Bisping’s determination eventually paid off and he captured the UFC title. He’s the first British fighter to do so. While others still think that he just got lucky that night, Muñoz firmly believes that winning the title goes to show that the reigning middleweight champ has persistence throughout his career. Also, Muñoz is very proud of Bisping’s success.
“He worked hard for it and people say that he was lucky, but I believe that luck is when opportunity and preparation meet.” Muñoz ended, “It’s awesome to see him being successful.”