Fighters often say they learn more from a loss than they do from a win and that was certainly the case for Michael Bisping, who came up short in his last fight falling to rival Tim Kennedy at the TUF Nations Finale in April.
Despite coming into the fight as a favorite, Bisping struggled to stuff Kennedy’s takedowns and was unable to get up off the ground once he was put on his back. In the past, Bisping’s anti-wrestling and ability to scramble off the mat has been one of his biggest defensive attributes, but he couldn’t counter Kennedy and it cost him on the judges’ scorecards.
"It was a disappointing fight obviously, it was disappointing because I didn’t walk away the victor obviously, but it was more disappointing for me because it was a boring fight. I’m not used to hearing the crowds boo through one of my fights and I don’t like that," Bisping said in his first interview since the fight with Kennedy happened.
"I get it, it’s mixed martial arts, and Tim had a game plan and he’s obviously allowed to go for takedowns and allowed to control me on the floor, but it was a little extreme if I’m honest. I underestimated how little he would want to engage, let’s put it that way, but that’s my fault. I should have been able to stop that so more power to him."
Realizing that he had some holes in his game, Bisping was humble enough to know changes had to be made to prevent these kinds of things from happening to him again in his next fight. So Bisping decided to head down to Orange County, California and team up with an old foe to help him shore up his wrestling game as well as find the right sparring partners to get him ready for his next trip to the Octagon.
Once upon a time, Bisping and Munoz traded barbs back and forth between interviews as they prepared to fight. The bout never actually happened because Bisping suffered a detached retina that put him out of action and nearly ended his career in the process.
Now coming off the loss to Kennedy, the former Ultimate Fighter winner knows he had to do something different if he wanted to truly become a better, more complete competitor so he’s started training alongside Munoz, UFC light heavyweight Pat Cummins, and a laundry list of other top fighters who all workout at the Reign Training Center.
"You’ve got to make it right and that’s what brings me to the Reign Training Center," Bisping said. "Mark Munoz runs a great facility here and a lot of great guys to train with. Obviously, in the past, I’ve stayed away from here because me and Mark we were scheduled to fight once and in the past we’re in the same division.
"You’ve got to bite the bullet sometimes and swallow your pride and say listen that fight didn’t go to plan, I need some training partners."
Bisping completed his first day of training with Munoz and his team this week, and the plan is for the British middleweight to continue working there as he waits for the call to get back in the cage for his next fight.
There has been no word on who he will face, although former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been asking to settle an old score with Bisping, while Brad Tavares has also come calling looking for a fight since he fell to defeat as well.
No matter who he faces next, it appears Bisping has resigned himself to finding the best training partners and coaches possible to prevent another loss in the UFC.