Since his appearance on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter back in 2006, UFC middleweight Michael Bisping has become the most prominent British mixed martial artist in the game.
He’s been featured as a coach on TUF twice since he won the third season under Tito Ortiz: on season nine opposite Dan Henderson for a USA vs. UK themed run and on the impending fourteenth season against the newly-acquired Jason “Mayhem” Miller. The Count’s antagonistic stint on season nine did little to ingratiate himself with the American fandom and, even over two years later, his reputation in the eyes of most stateside fans is still as a heel.
As he recently revealed on an ESPN-hosted chat session, the ostracization by some US fans is something he’s gotten used to — though he’s glad to not be coaching country against country this time around.
“I couldn’t really care less to be honest,” Bisping said of the fans’ negative perception of him. “It used to bother me, but when you coach a team of English against American fighters, you’ve sort of settled to be the villain. I’m glad it’s not UK vs. USA this team.”
Taping concluded recently on the show’s fourteenth season, which features Bisping and Miller as coaches over a crew of upcoming bantam- and featherweight UFC hopefuls. Bisping believes that, opposite the very loud Mayhem Miller, he may finally be received as the good guy. At the very least, he won’t be the only one that the fans rally against.
“I think Miller will come across as an absolute jerk,” Bisping said of TUF 14. The main difference for this series is that other than the 1-2 occasions when Dan [Henderson] and I didn’t see eye to eye, we got along fine. Whereas Mayhem Miller is a person where if he moved into your neighborhood, the value of your house would go down.”
Season fourteen of The Ultimate Fighter will air on September 21 on SpikeTV.