MICHAEL BISPING believes February 27 opponent Anderson Silva is not the fighter he was in his prime. But in assessing the aura that Silva projected at his peak – one Bisping no longer perceives – he drew an intriguing comparison with Ireland’s UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Michael Bisping says Conor McGregor has an advantage Silva once possessed.
“The key is to not give Silva too much respect,” Bisping explained to Fighting Fit. “Opponents in the past have been terrified and that allows him the space to get comfortable. It’s like with Conor McGregor, he has that psychological edge, he has his opponents beat before the start of the fight and that was certainly true of Silva in his prime. But Nick Diaz didn’t allow that [in January 2015] and we saw a different Anderson Silva. He beat Diaz on the cards before the positive drug test changed the result, but the fight was so close. I have to fight my fight and treat him like anyone else. I know I’m faster than him, better than him and I can beat him.”
Following the Diaz fight, Silva was suspended for a year due to multiple positive tests and his win was altered to a No Contest. But Bisping feels the performance against Diaz was just the latest example of a once imperious fighter losing his composure and confidence.