Michael "The Count" Bisping enters London's O2 Arena tonight with the expectation that a win over Japan's Yoshihiro Akiyama will move him one step away from a UFC title shot.
Although Bisping (19-3) has big hopes for what a win over Akiyama (13-2 2 NC) will mean for him, he's less than impressed by "Sexyama's" Asian pop star status and undeniable appeal to the ladies.
"Certainly didn't feel any attraction whatsoever, no," Bisping said when asked by FightersOnlyMagazine if he had noticed Akiyama's iconic sexiness. "Saying that, I did feel compelled to go towards him and pick him up and dump him on his head. But certainly no sexual feelings, no."
Joking around about Akiyama aside, "The Count" had some more serious observations on perceptions about supposed bias in British UFC events. Specifically, the notion among some fans that the judges favor British fighters.
"I have noticed a lot of people saying its hard to beat English people in England because of the judges but that is absolute nonsense," Bisping said. "That's just an excuse American fighters make when they lose fights, 'Oh it's the judges' - no, not at all. The judges are American!"
Bisping clarified his point using the example of his split decision victory over Matt Hamill at UFC 75 in London in 2007. The Hamill fight left many fans criticizing the judges and complaining of fight bias in favor of hometown hero Bisping, but Bisping says the facts don't bear that out.
"Listen, that (the Hamill fight) was a close fight and fortunately I was lucky enough to get the nod on the night. But a lot of people said it was (because of) English judges - there were three judges, two of them were American, one of them was English and the English judge voted for Matt Hamill. That's a prime example."
Looking forward to tonight, Bisping is hoping his cardio will make the difference against Akiyama.
"I think he is a tough fighter, I am in no way shape or form underestimating him," Bisping stated. "I think he is a very powerful fighter and very explosive, obviously good judo, good striker, neat and tidy. Weak department would be his cardio and as the fight wears on he gets sloppy. As he gets more tired, he gets leaves himself open and that's where I am looking to capitalise."
Bisping believes that success against Akiyama will be the ticket he needs to move within a single win of an elusive middleweight title shot, a position he has been in once in the past before falling to Dan Henderson at UFC 100.
"I think when I win this fight on Saturday night I need one more good win against a solid contender to earn the right to fight for the title, Bisping said. "Some of those guys have fights lined up right now so its difficult to know who it would be."