UFC middleweight Michael Bisping has strung together three impressive wins by taking out the likes of Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Jorge Rivera, but “The Count” has been spending more time in the news for his post-fight antics at UFC 127 than for his rising spot in the UFC’s 185lbs. division.
Bisping took on Jorge Rivera at UFC 127–which took place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia last month–following months of mostly one-sided trash talk delivered by Rivera and his team/sponsors via YouTube. The British standout did not at all take kindly to Rivera’s taunting and his emotions overtook him during and after their fight: “The Count” landed an illegal knee to the head of a downed Rivera which UFC president Dana White has asserted was purposeful, he verbally assaulted “El Conquistador” and his corner following his eventual TKO victory and topped the whole tantrum off by spitting at Rivera’s cornermen.
“The Count” has had most of a month to mull over his actions and in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies, he admitted regret at having lost control of himself and issued a general apology for his actions.
“I was out of order. As a father, as a mixed martial artist, or possibly even as a role model, it’s not a way I should be behaving,” Bisping said. “It’s not how a mixed martial artist should be acting; not how any man should be acting. Of course, I do regret it, and I owe Dana and the UFC an apology…and I won’t be acting like that again.”
White was quick to assure everyone that Bisping would incur some kind of punishment for his lack of decorum, eventually settling on withholding the Brit’s bonus money for that performance–something White said would hurt more than most anything else he could do from a promoter’s standpoint.
“The UFC have always been very good to me – Dana and Lorenzo and the UFC have made a huge difference to my life – and after nearly every fight they have gone above and beyond the call of duty and given me a very, very generous bonus. And that didn’t happen this time,” he said. “There is no telling what the amount may have been. I wouldn’t like to say what they have been in the past, but they have been very generous.
“…I’m contracted with a certain amount of money which I am very, very happy with, the UFC have me on a very good contract, but you do your job, you are a good employee, you do your PR work, you put on a good fight, and nine times out of ten, they look after you,” he continued. “This time, I never received anything. Rightly so, I was out of order. And the UFC had to do something.”
As a result of his actions, Bisping’s level of infamy has increased with MMA fans as well has the general desire from many MMA fighters to face him; a whole slew of middleweights (including Nate Marquardt and Chael Sonnen) have publicly challenged and admonished Bisping since the incident.
Bisping may have missed out on his bonus for this last outing, but considering the increased amount of people wanting to see him get beat and the similarly increased number of fighters now willing to do so, at least “The Count” appears to have job security.