Michael Bisping, through all the trash talk, spitting, and other antics that have made him the MMA villain he is today, has indirectly turned himself into one of the biggest draws in the UFC’s middleweight division.
After his TKO win over Jorge Rivera, the controversy weighed heavy in media circles. Rivera’s camp went on record and described Bisping’s actions as “deplorable” and “disrespectful.” Assault charges are typically filed in similar situations.
The character that Bisping advertises in the UFC has made him a “bad guy” in the sport, equivalent to what you call a “heel” in professional wrestling. The level of villainy he has reached is that of Legion of Doom-type altitudes, spurring the need for defenders of truth, justice and all that other stuff you hear about in the DC Comic universe.
As of right now, one fighter interested in being defender of justice to Bisping’s protagonist ways is Nate “The Great” Marquardt. The Jackson’s MMA fighter spoke with MMAWeekly Radio and confirmed an interest in getting the opportunity to shut the mouth of the brash British fighter.
“I think Bisping has always been a loudmouth,” Marquardt said. “Henderson taught him a lesson there for a little bit and he was quieted down for about a month, then (he was) a loudmouth again. It would be a pleasure to fight that guy and shut him up for another month.”
Clearly, Marquardt is not a fan of Bisping and his antics, but let us not jump to the conclusion that he sees all of Bisping’s actions as completely out of line. After watching the TUF alumnus’ fight against Rivera, Marquardt feels the “knee from down under” was not as intentional as the rest of the MMA universe thinks it was.
The knee may have come while Bisping was under the impression that a legitimate opening was there.
“I don’t believe he meant to throw it illegally,” he said. “Jorge had his hand on the ground and then he pulled his hand up and he raised up. That’s when he threw the knee and wasn’t thinking (Rivera’s) knees were on the ground and that he’s still a grounded opponent. I don’t think (Rivera) was the same after that, although Michael was already winning the fight. But it was still competitive up until that point.”
As far as giving Bisping the benefit of the doubt, the talk about the illegal knee is just about where it ends. Beyond that one moment in the fight, Marquardt does not give the British fighter any more slack. According to him, the actions Bisping displayed do not represent those of a true martial artist.
“It’s not what a martial artist or a sportsman should be doing,” Marquardt explained. “It’s just not good for the sport. It’s disrespectful, dishonorable.
“That just shows the kind of person Michael Bisping is.”
Bisping is currently without an opponent for his next fight. Marquardt is set to fight Dan Miller this weekend at UFC 128 after original opponent Yoshihiro Akiyama withdrew due to the tragedy in Japan. If Marquardt is able to get past the New Jersey resident, he could put himself in a slot to fight Bisping next.