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Michael Bisping says loss to Dan Henderson was the best thing to ever happen to him

Not all lessons are easily learned.

UFC middleweight Michael Bisping found that to be true a little more than two years ago when matched up against Dan Henderson at UFC 100 where he made the mistake of continuously circling into Henderson’s power, eventually paying the price by getting dropped in one of the most memorable finishes in the organization’s history.

However, rather than stay knocked down, Bisping has since gotten back up and actually views the highlight reel stoppage as the best thing to ever happen to him in terms of his development as a Mixed Martial Artist.

“Against Dan Henderson, that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned a lot from that fight and I realized a lot of the mistakes I was making,” Bisping explained in an interview with the UFC’s website.

“The Count” capitalized on the experience by improving his game and going 4-1 in the following five fights, the only loss being a hotly-contested decision defeat to Wanderlei Silva. Considering his only other stumble in the ring came against another former champion, Rashad Evans (Split Decision), Bisping is entering this weekend’s TUF 14 Finale headliner with supreme confidence and an intense dislike for opponent Jason Miller.

Still, though Bisping’s personal opinion of “Mayhem” is far from flattering, the 32-year old has used it as motivation in the gym but doesn’t expect any bad blood to carry over to the Octagon.

“I think I fight better when I’m – for want of a better word – pissed off. So for me, that does help. I’m emotional in and out of the ring, and before and after a fight I’m emotional, but generally when I’m fighting, I’m very, very focused and I’m focusing on what needs to be done as opposed to doing anything silly because of letting my emotions get the better of me.”

In fact, Bisping has another goal in mind of far more importance than simply shutting up his rival with the “toilet brush haircut”.

“I’m on a quest for the title, I want my title shot, and I’m almost there,” Bisping explained. “I beat this guy and it’s not gonna give me a title shot, but I have to beat him, and there’s no way Jason Miller is gonna be the guy to stop me.”

Fans can catch Bisping and Miller go at it on Saturday night when the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale unfolds on Spike TV starting at 8:00 PM EST.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC