Michael Bisping took to the airwaves on Monday to set the record straight for the slew of naysayers that have come out of the woodwork since he announced that he will fight GSP at UFC 214. Bisping’s co-host on the “Believe You Me” podcast, comedian Luis J. Gomez, presented the middleweight champion with a series of quotes from some top fighters.
Luke Rockhold was the loudest of his detractors, stating to ESPN that:
Bisping has fought nobody in the top 10 for the last year-and-a-half and still isn’t going to fight anybody in the top 10. Where does that put him? I think they should pull the title from guys like that who don’t fight anybody at the top. They pulled the title from [Germaine de Randamie] because she wouldn’t fight the No. 1 contender. Why is this any f–king different?
The middleweight champion laughed it off at first reminding everyone that Rockhold is "campaigning for the guy that knocked him out cold to be stripped rather than saying listen-- let me fight him, let me get a rematch, let me beat him... No he's asking the UFC to strip me". The Count continued, explaining that he agreed to fight the winner of the interim title fight between the #1 and #2 ranked middleweights-- guaranteeing that his next matchup would not only be against a top 10, but a top 2 fighter. "Whitaker won and he's injured so shut the f--k up." Bisping capped the Rockhold talk with another friendly reminder as to where the former champion stands in the division.
I'm gonna fight Robert Whitaker, who's the number one contender. It's not gonna be you Luke Rockhold; that got knocked the f--k out cold in three minutes, ok? Your head was bouncing around like a f---ing pinball machine, ok? You're fighting David Branch. I don't know who David Branch is, by all accounts he's a very tough fighter coming from another organization, making his UFC F---ing debut. Shut the f--k up. Go fight Billy no name; hopefully win. Get yourself back in the title talk buddy. Don't sit out there talking shit from the sidelines." Bisping threw on a hilarious impression of Rockhold before reminding everyone listening that Luke Rockhold is “a f---ing joke; You are a vagina. If you have a problem come see me!"
Although the champ got his facts just a little twisted (Branch debuted in a unanimous decision win vs Krystof Jotko at UFC 211) it's clear that there’s still heat with Rockhold. Hopefully the part-time model gets back on track with a win against Branch at UFC Fight Night 116, because it would be a fight fan’s dream come true to see these two square off in a rubber match somewhere down the road.
Robert Whitaker was next. The interim champion told ESPN that he could fight before the year was over but he didn't disparage Bisping or the UFC, as it is a money fight. Bisping praised the Aussie saying
Whitaker is a level headed, educated, intelligent man. As opposed to Luke Rockhold who is a volatile, nasty, spiteful little human being who's on his period right now by all accounts. No, I actually messaged Robert before the GSP fight happened. I sent him a message on Instagram the other day I said 'Rob I hope the knees healing well, do you think you'll be able to fight by the end of the year?' and he said 'yeah, looking like it.' I said 'ok great ya know, best of luck with that.' and it was all very civil, all very good, he's a decent guy but then the UFC came out with this GSP fight so that's going ahead. Listen that's November 4th. That’s not that long away, and then me and Rob will get it on shortly after that.
He saved Tyron Woodley for last. The current welterweight king went on Ariel Helwani's show "The MMA Hour" to gripe about Dana White and the UFC before dragging Bisping into the crossfire. “So while I’m out her fighting No. 1 contenders back-to-back-to-back while Bisping gets to take a long hiatus-- faking a knee injury, not fighting Yoel, coming back to fight Georges, and fighting Dan Henderson who is outside top 15." Bisping was taken aback because he defended Woodley against criticism about fighting a ‘boring’ fight against Demian Maia.
I was kinda scratching my head-- just because everyone is taking a dump on you now, just because the crowd booed, just because everyone was checking f---ing Instagram whilst you were fighting. That ain't my fault buddy; and don't throw s--t onto me to deflect onto you. I was a little miffed. I didn't understand. Tyron, you've got my number buddy... I don't hold it against him. I really don't, he's a good dude and I think he was just in a bad place.
Check out the full audio covering all three fighters below.
Be sure to catch the rest of the episode here starting 8/8 at midnight to hear about Michaels brush with crime and feats of heroism in Hawaii, his thoughts on his fight with GSP and his take on the new unified rules. Don't forget you can sign up to listen now and catch all future episodes live and join in on the chat here just use promo code BYM to try a 14 day free trial and save 15% off monthly membership after that.
-Mike Harrington, GaS Digital Network. Follow me @The_Chin