Count on Rampage

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:13 AM ET

Michael "The Count" Bisping is counting on an old friend to help him destroy an MMA legend.

The British middleweight is turning to former UFC light-heavyweight champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson to come up with a game plan to beat former Pride star Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.

"Rampage is actually with me right now in Australia," says Bisping (18-2).

"He has a long history with Wanderlei and has given me some good insight. Knowing him like he does, it's been invaluable having him and helping me with strategy."

Jackson has fought Silva three times. Jackson lost the first two outings, but solved the high-tempo Brazilian in their last fight 14 months ago at UFC 92.

Bisping will take on Silva in the co-main event at UFC 110 in a Feb. 21 pay-per-view card that will air in North America at its regular time of 10 p.m. -- on Feb. 20 due to the time difference with Australia.

The card will be headlined by a heavyweight battle between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Bisping met Jackson at a seminar in 2006 and the pair have been friends since, with Jackson training for his last two fights out of Bisping's Wolf's Lair gym in England.

Coming off a victory over Vancouver's Denis Kang at UFC 105 in November, Bisping is still shaking off the cobwebs from his knockout loss to Dan Henderson last July.

Bisping says that fight forced him to become less predictable, but he also shoots back at critics who slammed him for circling to Henderson's right hand -- a move that eventually landed him on the mat.

'GOT HIT WITH SHOTS'

"It kind of pisses me off, people going on about that all the time," says Bisping.

"Sometimes if a guy is cutting you off, you have no choice but to move that way. There's a lot of theories. The fact of the matter is, I got hit with some shots. Before that fight, I was under the impression I could go out there and go three rounds with anyone."

The winner of the Bisping/Silva fight will move up a few rungs in the 185-lb. class, but will have to wait for a title shot.

With an April fight between champ Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort now cancelled due to an injury to Belfort, Chael Sonnen is all but guaranteed the next title shot.

Bisping says he's OK with that.

His only focus now is his UFC 110 showdown with one of the hardest hitters in MMA history. And he says his early strategy for Silva is to stand and trade.

"People say I haven't got knockout power. I think I do," says Bisping. "I plan on standing toe-to-toe."

JOSE.RODRIGUEZ@SUNMEDIA.CA


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