Bisping and Munoz headline UFC Fight Night in Manchester on October 26, with the winner likely to be in line for an eventual challenge to either Chris Weidman or Anderson Silva, who rematch for Weidman’s UFC middleweight title in December.
Bisping, understandably, is excited ahead of his first ‘home’ fight in three years.
“I am 100% looking forward to fighting again in England,” he told Eurosport-Yahoo!.
“I can’t wait. The support I’ve had from these shores has always blown my mind wherever I’ve fought, it’s been incredible and has helped my career.
“I enjoy being an international fighter for the UFC and travelling the world, but as soon as I found out there would be another show in Manchester I called them up and pleaded with them to put me on the card.
“Luckily, not only have they done that, they’ve made me and Mark Munoz the main event.”
Bisping has a lot of respect for Munoz as a fighter, but what looked to be a straight-up battle for contendership gained a personal tint when the Filipino-American mocked the Brit for ‘punching like he has pillows for fists’.
“It’s a little nickname that’s come about from the internet community,” the 34-year-old said. “It’s not very original of him, and it’s not like him to even try the trash talking.
“I know I can be a loudmouth at times – I just try to make it entertaining for the public. But if he wants to say I’ve got pillows for fists, and go down that route, I can do that. I’m pretty good at it.
“After his last defeat he said how he had depression. He didn’t have depression. He lost the fight because he ate too much and put on too much weight and he felt sorry for himself about it.
“We all feel sorry for ourselves when we lose to an extent. It’s the position we put ourselves in, though. Someone will win and someone will lose.
“You get dejected by a loss but it’s down to you to pick yourself up and go again, not try and get the world to feel bad for you. And if he felt sorry for himself after that, imagine what he’ll feel after he loses to me.
“It’s going to be a long, uncomfortable flight back across the Atlantic and I hope he has some pillows on the plane to help him deal with how sore he is after the fight, because my ‘pillows’ have a bit of a kick to them.”
“He will be a tough opponent,” Bisping continued. “We’re both in the top five in the world for our weight class and we will give the fans a good fight, which is what they paid to see.
“And whenever I do fight in front of those amazing fans, I ended up taking home fight of the night honours. Three times, in fact. It’s another 50 grand in the bank each time, so happy days!
“The fans will make for an amazing atmosphere on the night, and that is what will give me the edge.
“A lot of the time when I fight in America, I get booed. In my one to one dealings with American people, they’ve all been nothing but nice to me, but of course in front of 100,000 Americans I am going to get booed.
“It’s going to be the other way around for Munoz when he comes to Manchester. It will be him being booed – well, he better had, anyway.
“He may be able to shut that out as I shut it out in America, but between the atmosphere, the fact I get fight of the night so often in England and also because I’m unbeaten in England, he’ll be in for a long night.
“In his last fight, he looked good and manhandled a solid opponent and beat him up. But Tim Boetsch plays into Munoz’s strengths. I use a lot of movement and footwork and will have a different approach.”
Despite being a long-time and highly-regarded part of the UFC roster, Bisping has had three UFC middleweight title eliminators and lost all three to Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort.
Some believe this could be his last crack at earning a world title opportunity. Bisping disagrees.
“A lot of people see this opportunity as now or never for me,” he explained. “If I don’t earn another title opportunity soon, many will regard me as a nearly man, or whatever. Some people call me the ‘Tim Henman’ of MMA, but it doesn’t bother me.
“I’ve had a great career. I’ve been very lucky. UFC look after me but I’m still hungry as ever. I still train as hard as ever and the fact that I’ve remained on the cusp for so long is a testament to my character.
“It’s one thing to get into the UFC and it’s another thing to stay there, but a lot of people get near the top, miss out and then fizzle out and you never hear from them again.
“I’ve been around the top for a long time now and I’ve no intention of dropping down.”
Weidman stunned Silva in their first fight to end his legendary title reign, and though Bisping saw the result coming and fancies the same again for the return fight, he would love to meet Silva in the Octagon one day before he retires.
He said: “I picked Weidman to win against Silva, but I expected him to grind him out. I think he will also win the rematch, but this time it will be the way I first predicted, on a decision.
“Despite that, I still hope to fight Anderson Silva one day. If you’re a heavyweight boxer, your dream fight is Muhammad Ali. For us, it’s Silva.
“He’s one of the all-time greats and has the longest reign in UFC history. I’d love to fight him.”
His ambitions to become champion and conquer Silva are matched by just one other thing: a desire to remain a fight sport ambassador in the UK, where MMA continues to slowly grow in status.
“Aside from fighting Silva and becoming the first British title-holder, I hope to continue to raise the profile of MMA in the UK.
“I’ve made some mistakes along the way, of course. But I’ve done everything I can to champion the sport over here and make clear the fitness and the respect and the discipline it can teach to kids.”
Michael Bisping takes on Mark Munoz at The Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on 26th October. Tickets for UFC® MANCHESTER 2013: BISPING vs. MUNOZ are available from