Before Chael Sonnen and Conor McGregor entered the picture, Michael Bisping was the name that was synonymous with trash-talking. This persona of his made the brash Brit one of the most disliked fighters in the UFC, at one point.
But for this upcoming fight against Kelvin Gastelum in Shanghai, China, “The Count” will not be wearing his black hat. In a pre-fight interview with MMAjunkie, Bisping says he just sees no point in doing so, and that he actually welcomes the idea of not playing the heel role this time.
“It’s very refreshing not to be doing it,” Bisping said. “It’s so nice, it is, because what am I gonna do? No one’s gonna pay attention, anyway. You can’t build anything. Maybe if we had a whole thing (for) a couple of months and we did interviews. Because that’s how it happens, I see him, he says something, and I respond, and before you know it, it builds. (There) hasn’t been time for that.”
“Kelvin’s a great guy. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Kelvin. This isn’t on pay-per-view – I’m not trying to sell pay-per-views or any of that. Kelvin seems like a very, very nice guy – apart from the fact he does a little bit too much pouting on Instagram. Other than that, he seems like a lovely guy.”
Bisping also reiterated his retirement plans which he foresees happening in March of 2018 in London. And as of right now, he no longer worries about winning that much, but still promises to give it his all.
“If I fight the way I can fight, I can beat Kelvin,” Bisping said. “He’s had some good wins, but we’ll see what happens. It’s hard under those bright lights. In the gym, I’m a different man, and I didn’t show up (against Georges St-Pierre) because I wanted to remain champion so much. Now, it’s not about that. Now, I don’t even feel any pressure, I’m just gonna go out there and fight my fight.”
“I’m not the champion anymore, I’m just taking fights for the sake of fighting,” he added. “Does that mean I want to win? My god, I will fight to the death to try to win, I will never quit. But if I lose, f—k it.”
UFC Shanghai is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 25th. The entire card streams live on UFC Fight Pass, with a main card start time for 7 AM ET/4 AM PT.