In exactly one week (September 21, 2011), The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) will return for its fourteenth season, the last season on the UFC's current deal with Spike TV.
The season will feature bantamweight and featherweight fighters for the first time as TUF season three winner Michael Bisping will be coaching against former Strikeforce middleweight title challenger Jason Miller.
Bisping is currently riding a three fight win streak in the UFC middleweight division and has entered close proximity to title contention despite some severe unsportsmanlike behavior during and after his last fight with Jorge Rivera.
Miller has been in MMA purgatory ever since instigating the infamous in-cage brawl at the Strikeforce Nashville event a year and a half ago. He was blacklisted from competing for Showtime and his only fight since was against the decrepit Kazushi Sakuraba nearly a year ago.
Both Bisping and Miller are all slated to participate in a UFC conference call today (September 14, 2011) at 2 p.m. ET
MMAmania.com will deliver up-to-the-second live updates of the conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The call is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Jason Miller: As the season war on, I hated his guts, then I didn't mind him so much and then I hate his guts again.
Michael Bisping: Jesus Christ this guy has 15 different personalities. He can definitely be really annoying.
Michael Bisping: The format for the show hasn't changed. In a lot of ways it was the same. There wasn't the British things. I was never comfortable with the UK vs USA thing. This time, I had a great time filming the show. The fighters themselves were very dedicated, they trained really hard and they listened to what they had to say. When you see the fights, you'll know what you mean. I feel it was a good season and I represented myself pretty well.
Michael Bisping: I never put on an act ever. I'm always me. When I was going into this season I thought I'd get some hostility towards me because of preconceived notions. After a couple days, the team gelled and we got used to another and some of the guys told me that they were expecting me to be an a**hole. Ultimately, it's about getting these guys prepared for the big time. Everyone was fine though.
Michael Bisping: Jason Miller hasn't [annoyed me as much as Jorge Rivera]. Rivera was different. It wasn't just him, it was his whole team and they talked about family and stuff I don't want to go into and drag up again and give him more press. Jason's not like that, he's just a bit idiotic. He would me up, you'll see. His mouth is definitely bigger than his brain. He tried a few things and they were pretty childish so they didn't wire me up to that extent.
Jason Miller: You'll see as the season plays out. Apart from the amazing fights, I've had a chance to watch the first two episodes. The thing I recognize is Dana White, a guy who's seen a ton of fights, he says these are the best fights ever to get into the house. Besides the excellent fights and the very talented group of guys getting back into the show, me and Mike put a damn good show on. I credit the UFC for making that decision to put us on the show together because we both have strong personalities and we were meant to clash.
Jason Miller: I'm gonna punch you in the face and choke you (to Bisping)
Michael Bisping: When I coach, it makes your technique better because you pay the small attention to detail, the differences between when it works and it doesn't work. It makes you sharp.
Jason Miller: For me, it kind of reinvigorated my passion, the coaching aspect got me amped to train. It got me ready to go with my coaching staff and work on things.
Jason Miller: I had one priority going into this show. My first priority was to make sure I gave full attention to coaching these guys. That was my first priority and the second was to make good television. After the first week, I was a bit bored so I started cranking it up. We need to make something happen so the audience was engaged and these things happened.
Jason Miller: My initial belief was that I gave Mike the benefit of the doubt but he fully proved himself as a prick by the end of week two.
Michael Bisping: I always give people the benefit of the doubt. Me and Jason have some mutual friends and I thought he was an okay kinda guy. We were doing press things and shooting commercials and the more I was around him the more he got under my skin. He really started to piss me off really. You'll see why he's not on my Christmas card list.
Michael Bisping: It was a double edged sword. Bantamweights and featherweights are a very exciting weightclass. The downside of this is in season nine I was on the mat with these guys every day but I can't do that with the smaller weights. I had to be more of a coach on the sidelines with the stopwatch in my hand and that was more of a downside.
Jason Miller: The UFC didn't pick up these weight classes until this year. It wasn't the normal TUF crowd where guys are 2-0, these were developed excellent athletes and great fighters already. Me and Mike had fun gameplanning with them and giving them our view on how they should fight. These guys already were great fighters and it was all about the competition. We didn't have one lackluster fight all season.
Michael Bisping: Jason's completely right in what he says. You didn't have to show them too many things, you just had to nurture them and keep them training and keep an eye on them. These were complete fighters. They just needed guidance and structure.
Jason Miller: There were some upsets. There were some guys that the media covers and they know who they are and some of them are not coming into the house.
Michael Bisping: There was never any hesitation in accepting the role as coach. In my opinion, to be offered a coaching position is very prestigious. There is a downside. The downside means almost 10 months out of the game. It means taking a fight with Jason Miller which with respect probably doesn't get me a title shot with beating him.
Michael Bisping: Maybe beating Miller is the guy. I've got a good streak. I've only been beaten once at middleweight. I've been beating top guys consistently for a long time now. I feel the time is now. I hate when I hear Anderson Silva has wiped out the middleweight division because I haven't fought him. I feel I match up well with him. Hopefully I beat Miller and I do it in style and I get the shot. If not, maybe one more fight and I will.
Michael Bisping: I always speak my mind. Sometimes it does me good and sometime it does me harm. The thing with DaMarques Johnson, he was trying to get airtime and talking sh*t about me and he got a response. This season I went out there, i was myself and I wasn't pulling punches. I wasn't on a PR campaign to get more fans.
Jason Miller: This is the best season they've ever done. As a viewer, I'm totally enthralled by it.
Michael Bisping: I'm gonna send you back to the undercard. Get used to those quiet little crowds.
Jason Miller: They just stuck the camera on us and I made good TV. There wasn't any pressure. I contributed to them not having good ratings last year with Lesnar. I didn't watch it. I can't imagine a conference call with Lesnar and dos Santos being 1/10 this entertaining.
Michael Bisping: There was a lot of backlash after season nine. I didn't do anything wrong. All I wanted was to win. The only thing I shouldn't have done in season nine was get in DaMarques Johnson's face. Other than that, i didn't do anything wrong. Dan Henderson wasn't the most outspoken of guys and I looked like a loudmouth compared to him.
Jason Miller: Bully beatdown is a show where a regular guy with a stick up his ass gets beaten up. it's a completely different show. Every fighter on this season, I had mutual respect for. It would be entertaining to make fun of the guys if they got in an armbar but that would be disrespectful for the fighters who are trying to do this for their careers. It's a completely different things, I did not jump over top of the cage and make fun of them in between rounds.
Jason Miller: I just tried to be myself no matter what and if you don't like it, I don't care. My job was to coach some featherweights and some bantamweights and that's what I did. I put 100% of my effort into that job.
Jason Miller: The amount of time you spent with a camera in your face, you never got to get away. The minute you walked towards that gym, you had a camera on you. It was more of a documentary where the cameramen stayed out of your business and you never saw the producers. You never knew when you were being watched because the answer was "all the time."
Jason Miller: I couldn't imagine being in that house. I got to go home at night. In the house, they've got cameras on you when you're sleeping.
Jason Miller: I can't speak for Mike because I can't talk with that stupid accent. There has to be respect at some level because at some point we're gonna stand across from the cage from each other. At the end of the day, there is a brotherhood between fighters.
Michael Bisping: Jason's already admitted to me that I'm the better fighter, I have the better cardio. He's already beaten mentally so it's just a matter of time until December 3rd so I can collect my paycheck.
Michael Bisping: As of right now, I'm living in California. We'll do a month in California and a month somewhere else. I'm taking the fight very seriously. We're gonna have a very good fight camp and I'm gonna prepare. I'll be training accordingly. I'm still very much a part of the Wolfslair but we're more international now.
Jason Miller: His coaching staff was a lot of guys I trained with back in the day and I moved on because they weren't up to par. That's his level of coaching staff.
Michael Bisping: Jason had a chiropractor as part of his staff.
Jason Miller: That chiropractor trained world champions named Dan Henderson and Randy Couture.
That concludes the conference. Thanks for reading!