|Michael Bisping (right) suffered a devastating KO loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100. He looks to get back on track when he faces Canadian Denis Kang this Saturday at UFC 105. (UFC photo)
Michael (The Count) Bisping is used to being under the spotlight whenever the UFC rolls into the United Kingdom.
Following his win on the third season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and subsequent career in the octagon, the Manchester-born middleweight has earned the distinction of being Britain's most famous MMA fighter.
However, going into UFC 105 on Nov. 14, all eyes are on Bisping (17-2) for an entirely different reason.
In July at UFC 100, Bisping was on the receiving end of a huge punch from Dan Henderson that resulted in his first knockout loss. To simply call it a KO would be an understatement, though. This was a violent punch that left the Brit completely unconscious with his toes curled up. To make matters worse, Henderson followed the shot with a monstrous flying forearm.
It's the kind of beating that could leave a fighter questioning their career choice, but according Bisping, it hasn't affected him one bit.
"It was a tough loss and it was the first one in my career that's ended (by knockout) -- my only other loss was a split-decision to Rashad Evans," Bisping said on the UFC 105 media conference call. "Obviously it didn't sit well with me.
"It hasn't affected me as a fighter like some people have speculated. People have said that perhaps I may be gun-shy. That couldn't be further from truth."
Bisping remains confident that when he enters the octagon in less than one week's time, he will not have missed a step. However, his opponent, Canadian Denis Kang (32-11-1), said he'll only know for sure once the cage door shuts and the bell rings.
"Sometimes people never really come back from knockouts, but he could also come back a better fighter," Kang said. "We're going to have to see and test it out. But you never really know until you get in there."
Kang, a well-rounded fighter with excellent stand-up and ground skills, is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Xavier Foupa-Pokam at UFC 97 in Montreal. In a recent interview, he went on record saying he's better than Bisping at all aspects of the game.
That's something The Count clearly disagrees with.
"I understand Denis saying he's better than me in all areas -- you've got to think that," Bisping said. "We go in there as fighters and you've got to believe you can win. He thinks he's superior to me in (Brazilian) Jiu Jitsu because he's got a black belt. He thinks he's a better striker -- he probably saw me get knocked out in my last fight and thinks I'm not that good. He thinks he's a better wrestler, etc.
"He has to keep telling himself that and more power to the guy. I can't have a problem with him thinking that, but obviously I disagree."
Given both fighter's respective skill sets, it will be difficult to predict where the fight takes place -- on the ground or standing up.
However, you don't have to be an expert to guess who the fan favourite will be.
But Kang says he's been fighting for too long to get thrown off by a hostile crowd.
"It's just like any other fight; there's always pressure added," he said. "Most of my fights have been in someone else's hometown. I rarely fight at home. I'm used to it being like that. I don't focus at all on the crowd or where I am. The most important thing for me is in the octagon or the ring.
"I guess you could say this is one of the biggest fights in my career because it's on a pretty big stage, on the UFC main card, and I'm fighting a pretty highly-acclaimed opponent like Michael Bisping. I've always taken my fights seriously before, but for this one...I'm training harder than normal."