One of the hottest training camps around doesn’t seem to have a clear cut leader. While Miletich, Tompkins, Hackleman and Jackson are all ‘owners’ of their respective camps, it’s much harder to put a finger on who runs Big Bear. Sure Tito Ortiz owns the place, but we’re hearing more and more about fighters going up there who aren’t affiliated with Team Punishment. Case in point: Michael Bisping, who’s going to train at Big Bear with Quinton Jackson:
Bisping said he and the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion have struck up a friendship this year. “We’ve only really hung out three or four times but we really get on. He’s a funny guy, he’s great to be around and after we were in London last month for the UFC 75 press conference he was kind enough to invite me to Big Bear to train and spar with him.”
And Rampage, who matches his UFC 205lbs gold against that of PRIDE counterpart Dan Henderson on the same London supershow, seems delighted to have the Count join him in the famous Californian fight camp.
Jackson said: “Bisping’s the coolest dude in all the UK. He’s white and English but we’re kinda alike in a lot of ways. He’s a bad ass like me, he’s not scared of no-one.
“He’s a really good fighter – and he’s getting better all the time – because he’s fearless.
“I think I can help him out with his defence, because I got a lot of moves for defence I don’t think anyone else has even thought of. I’d be happy to share some secrets with Bisping and I am looking forward to banging with him and picking up some ground work from him.”
Now I really feel bad for Matt Hamill. Bisping is a powerhouse fighter who’s only limitation was his training situation. Say what you will about the Wolf’s Den in England … there’s simply no substitution for training with other elite guys, and Big Bear’s got that in spades. So now that Bisping has proven he’s willing to go outside his bubble and train in America, I really do think he has what it takes to be a future champion. Which is why I’m somewhat surprised that the current 205-pound champion is so willing to help him out. I guess it’s better to fight the foe you know than the foe you don’t.