In September 2013 I did an exclusive interview with UFC star Michael Bisping for Nuts magazine. Unfortunately, days later Bisping suffered a detached retina in training and had to pull out of his scheduled fight with Mark Munoz. As a result, this interview was never published. It would be a shame to waste a great interview, so here you go...
How do you feel about your fight with Mark Munoz?
It's a great match-up. He's won five of his last six, and the defeat came against Chris Weidman, who's the world champ now. I'm not expecting an easy fight by any means, but I do plan on taking him out.
How does your style match up against his?
He's a strong guy, a good wrestler, and he throws punches with bad intentions. Saying that, I think I have an advantage on the feet and overall I've fought much better opponents than he has.
Are you excited to be fighting in Manchester?
You have no idea! I'm struggling to put my feelings into words. It's been three years since I fought in the UK, and the support I get from the crowds is unbelievable. You have to be there to experience it. I'm a lucky guy.
Do you get a lift from the home crowd?
Definitely. I know they are coming out in force, and I know they want to see me win. So I'm pulling out all the stops to give the people what they want, which is a big victory and a big knockout!
Do you get a different kind of lift from the fans that boo you in America?
Absolutely. I get a lot of boos over there, but that works both ways. It's understandable that the crowds cheer for their own. I'm just hoping the Brits can turn the tables for once!
Is it difficult to deal with sometimes?
Not really. I don't care if the crowd are booing me or cheering for me, as long as they are having fun and showing some energy.
You live in the States now. Do people over there ever recognize you in the street and want a go?
Ha-ha, no. That's never happened. MMA is almost a mainstream sport in America. A lot of people know who I am, but fortunately I never get any idiots coming up and challenging me.
Has there been any trash talk from Munoz yet?
A little bit, yea. He said I have pillows for fists, whereas he's bringing hammers, ha-ha!
What do you say to that?
I say bring it on! He's going to need one of those pillows to have a little lie down on after I've knocked him out! He claims to be suffering from depression, to which I say get a grip, man! If he thinks he's depressed now, wait until we fight!
You've had lots of other jobs in your life, what was the worst?
A door-to-door salesman, ha-ha! I wasn't selling much and my boss said to me, "Michael, you're very big and you have a shaved head. Do you think you're intimidating people?" I lasted in that job a week!
What's the last thing you do before you step into the octagon?
I sit down, close my eyes, and think about my family and all the sacrifices I've made to get where I am. Then I think about where I'm going, and the task at hand. There is a lot of energy and emotion flying about, so I try to calm myself down, channel that into something I can use, then go out there and do it.
Why do you have Blur's Song 2 as your walk out tune?
It's just a great song, with lots of energy. People love it! They get right into it and everyone sings along, which isn't that hard as it only has a few words, ha-ha!
When you coached the Ultimate Fighter there was a lot of animosity with Mayhem Miller. How much of that was real and how much was put on for the cameras?
I feel sorry for Miller now because he's fallen on hard times and I don't like to kick a man while he's down. But take it from me, if you spend a lot of time around that guy, you'd want to kill him as well! He was trying to start fights with me in the gym and generally being disrespectful. So to answer your question, all the animosity that came through on TV was definitely real.
How did you feel when Anderson Silva got himself knocked out?
I was a little bit annoyed to be honest, because I could have done that! Anyone could, really. He was acting like an idiot and he paid the price. This isn't the kind of sport where you can mess around.
After you beat down Munoz, who's next?
Hopefully, I'll be in with a title shot against the winner of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman when their rematch is settled.
So stick your neck out, who's going to win the rematch?
I'd go for Weidman. He's top-quality.
Aren't you contemplating a career as an action movie star?
I do a bit of acting on the side, as well as some broadcasting work. I have two films out this year, Plastic and the Anomaly. I still have many years left in me, but obviously I have to look at what I'm going to do when I finish fighting.
UFC Fight Night 30: Machida vs Munoz takes place at the Phones 4U Arena, Manchester on 26th October 2013