If you’re a middleweight fighting in the UFC, chances are at some point in your career you either have or will call out Michael Bisping.
Throughout his career in the UFC, Bisping has become the magnet for attention because of his no holds barred attitude whenever a microphone is placed in front of his face, and the former Ultimate Fighter champion doesn’t understand the meaning of pulling punches.
Everyone from Hector Lombard to Alan Belcher to just about everyone in between has said they want a shot at Bisping in the Octagon, and he gets it, and understands why his name is on the lips of every middleweight out there.
“I never shy away from saying things, and I’m going to sound really arrogant here, but a lot of people call me out. Almost all middleweights call me out, and they’re just trying to get a bit of hype off of my back. I’ve worked hard in this sport, I’ve fought hard, I’ve done three seasons of the Ultimate Fighter, I’ve done 10 million interviews. Nobody’s promoted this sport and the middleweight division more than me, and I guarantee that,” Bisping said recently when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“Nobody’s done more interviews, nobody’s done more TV, and that’s why people want to call me out because a lot of people know who I am, and they want to take a bit of what I’ve got by fighting me or be put in the same sentence. They’re all going to get their asses kicked at the end of the day, but they might make a few dollars and get a bit of limelight out of it.”
Bisping isn’t wrong when it comes to promotion or the amount of attention he gets around fight time. There are a lot of fans that love him and a lot of fans that love to hate him, but either way Bisping isn’t worried so long as your plunking down your money or time to watch him.
While some fighters have spoken openly about not enjoying the media circles they have to run during fight week, or the amount of interviews they do during the lead-up to a show, Bisping embraces every bit of it.
It’s not because he’s an attention grabber who only wants the spotlight on him. It’s because Bisping gets the fact that MMA is a sport, but also entertainment, and any fight might go 15 or 25 minutes, but he’s got months to convince people to watch those fights and he’s going to do everything is his power to get your viewership.
“I’m blessed to do what I do for a living, and I’m not trying to sound cheesy or corny by saying that, I truly am. I do my dream job for a living, and the rewards are handsome and just recently for example I spoke to the PR guys at the UFC and I said look I want to promote this fight with Vitor, I feel like I’m not doing enough, load my plate up. I’m ready to do it, I’ll make the time in my schedule,” said Bisping.
“I look at this as a business. If the card doesn’t do well, if the viewing figures aren’t good, or the rest of it, that affects me, and it looks badly upon me. So I want it to be a success, so I want to try my hardest to get people to tune in. Often I don’t think a lot of fighters get that, that’s what we’re here to do – we’re here to promote it, we’re here to sell the fight and get people to tune in.”
Bisping believes that if doing an interview or a media conference call is going to throw you off your game that much then you’re probably already defeated. He says it’s all part of the game and more fighters should learn to embrace it.
“A lot of fighters don’t get that or they look at it as a nuisance or an annoyance and they need to get with the program really,” said Bisping.
“If talking to somebody for five or 10 minutes is going to result in you losing the fight, then you probably would have lost the fight anyways.”