I’m here in Brazil ahead of my career-critical showdown with Vitor Belfort, which will be the five-round main event live on FX this Saturday night.
I was a little disappointed in the weather at first, but I really like the place. The fans here are UFC crazy and, surprisingly, I seem to have a tons of fans down here. I know. I was as surprised as you probably are, but it looks like I will have some good support in the Octagon when I fight Belfort here in Sao Paulo.
Michael Bisping poses for pictures with Brazilian fans in Sao Paulo. (Reuters)
At the open workouts earlier today, I had fans coming up to me saying “I hope you kill that mother-[expletive]” and “We can’t stand that guy!” I’ve got it on video; it really took me by surprise. He’s obviously got his fans – and I expect I will be booed like it is UFC 100 again on Saturday night – but a lot of people here in Brazil have no time for Vitor Belfort.
I don’t know for sure whether it was because he fought Anderson Silva and Anderson is like a god down here, or whether the Brazilians are just like English people in that they can’t stand holier than thou attitudes. I’ll conduct a little research and let you know, but it is one of the two, I’m sure.
As you can probably tell, I’m in full ‘fight mode’ now. I like to fight angry, to have a lot of emotion and ill-will towards my opponent. I fight better like that for some reason, and I am advanced enough in my career to be able to generate that mood for myself regardless of my opponent. I guess it’s a little strange, and maybe not psychologically healthy, but I take any little slight or comment by my opponent and magnify that 1000 times until I feel like my opponent is the worst example of humanity on Earth and the fight is very, very personal.
Some fighters I’ve spoken with try to drain all the emotion out of it. Georges St-Pierre is a prime example of someone who refuses to allow his emotions to play on him and, clearly, it has worked great for him in his career. I guess I’m just a very different type of guy and athlete.
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Sometimes opponents do make it personal, and that’s great. With Belfort, for the most part he’s been fine, and two months ago I actually liked and respected him. But, as of a couple days ago, I cannot stand the guy. The way my mind is right now, Vitor Belfort is a complete phony and I can’t wait to beat him up.
This isn’t hyping a fight like Tito Ortiz used to, where you know it was all about getting a headline or two. This is how I motivate myself to train harder than anyone else in the UFC and how I focus my mind on kicking arse.
And, like I said, the more I think about it, the less respect I have for Belfort.
Vitor Belfort of Brazil gestures to the crowd during an opening training session.
He’s already been busted for elevated testosterone back in 2006, and his pathetic evasions of straight questions about TRT speaks volumes. If he wasn’t on TRT, he’d just say so. Instead he started mumbling and getting all embarrassed like a teenager caught with a porno mag. It is really pathetic. With a physique like his, you’d think he’d jump at the chance to deny he’s taking TRT.
But his silence speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
He’s trying to take my title shot off me. He’s trying to take my family’s security off me. And he’s prepared to cheat to do it. I’m not letting any of that happen. He can be injecting rocket fuel for all I care. The bottom line is I’m going to kick his arse Saturday night.
That’s the bad news for Vitor. The good news is he will always be able to find work as a Brazilian Chippendale.
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I’m 100 percent confident going in the last couple of days. I know how hard I train. Training as hard as I do gives you confidence that you can deal with things when you had a bad spell in the fight. I know I’m prepared. I don’t buy that Vitor is only good for a round or two, either. I’m going to be pushing the pace that would make any middleweight tired. If I let Vitor fight at his own pace, he will be dangerous until the final bell. I’m not letting him fight at that pace though; I’m going to exhaust him.
Anyway, I’m going to have a training session, eat, and maybe an early night so I look fresh for tomorrow’s press conference. I honestly can’t wait. From what I’ve heard, Vitor is going to be giving us all a sermon on Jonah and the Whale tomorrow.
Hit me up on Twitter @bisping. As always, photoshops of me and Hendo are most welcome.