These next couple months leading up to my fight with Michael Bisping are going to be a lesson in patience for me. I didn’t ask for this fight, but I’ve certainly warmed up to the idea that I’ll get to have another go at him, especially since he’s already flapping his gums.
Titles have been changing hands a good bit lately and that’s a good thing. It just demonstrates the constant improvement and evolution of the athletes in this sport. Guys have to work harder to hang on to the belt, and I plan on making the middleweight belt change hands again.
People ask me all the time, “Did you mean it when you said you were going to retire after this fight?”
The short answer: Yes. It’ll be my last fight, win or lose. That’s my plan.
Obviously, I’d like it to happen with a win. I’ve already accomplished a lot in the sport, and I’m satisfied with what I’ve done. If you add a UFC belt, there’s no better way to retire.
Training camp won’t change much just because the fight is overseas. As a matter of fact, I plan on staying on my own time zone while I’m there since the fight will take place at 7 pm PST. He will likely be over there much earlier than me, and probably on UK time, so he’ll have to fight me at 4 or 5 am.
What does change things a little bit is trying to stay on my time zone, getting my media obligations accomplished during the day, and still getting enough rest. That’s about the toughest part of the fight happening over there.
Typically, the UFC flies you out so you can be there for fight week on Tuesday, but for this one, I plan to head out earlier, so I’ll probably be out there a week ahead of the event. I’m not trying to acclimate to the time difference, and I’m also not worried about the climate, as I’ll be inside most of the time anyway.
As far as the hometown advantage, I’m sure there will be a big crowd of fans for him, but I’m hoping there will be a few there still cheering for me. With the judging, I’ve seen some really bad decisions lately, even been on the receiving end of some, but I’m not too worried about that in this fight. I’m looking to win here, regardless if it’s a decision or a knockout, but hopefully, I won’t have to rely on the judges, and I’ll get the job done like I did the first time.
Mike has been his usual classy self, telling people that he thinks I’ll be “sneaky” and cheat because it will be my last fight—as if I’ve ever cheated before. I guess he feels that by calling me a cheater, he puts my integrity in question, but I don’t take much of what he says to heart at all.
Mike makes himself look ignorant and naive about the whole situation of why I was on TRT in the first place. Yes, I was on TRT for a number of years, but only after a doctor’s recommendation and approval from the athletic commission. It was never a secret. It was always monitored. In fact, before USADA, I always monitored myself every training camp just in case there was any question if I was taking too much and was over the normal range. So I was always within the limits they set. I wasn’t on a high dosage and it barely affected me when the rules changed and I stopped.
I’ve been one of the very few that’s been asking the UFC and the commissions to do unannounced drug testing, like what they do in the Olympics, and I’ve been doing that for 7 or 8 years. They finally brought in USADA and are now implementing that system, which is a great thing for the UFC and MMA as a whole, since the UFC sets the example for everyone else.
I like where the sport is heading, and I’m proud to be a part of it.