Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Michael Bisping was on his podcast earlier this week (listen), chirping about all things mixed martial arts (MMA). “The Count” has been around the fight game for well over a decade and has probably seen and heard it all.
Including allegations from UFC welterweight kingpin Tyron Woodley that racism is alive and well in the world’s largest combat sports promotion, which includes both fans and penny-pinching promoters.
See those comments here and here.
Unfortunately for “The Chosen One,” the brash Brit sees no evidence to back up those claims, using former black champions like Quinton Jackson and Daniel Cormier, among others, as examples of athletes who were pushed and marketed equally.
Or, he could just be an ignorant white guy with no perspective, which he openly admits during his latest “tangent” (via Bloody Elbow), alongside his wacky assessment of the Diaz brothers and their race.
“We're going off on a tangent here, but still, I'm saying Nick and Nate Diaz are white. You know, we were talking about Tyron Woodley before, they might say, 'Look at this guy, entitled white guy living in Orange County, saying, 'Racism doesn't exist.' How on earth does he have a clue? How is he ever going to consider anything like that, because he could never ever come close to experiencing it?' And you're absolutely right. So, if I'm wrong, then I apologize. I'm just saying, in my experience, I haven't seen any evidence of it. In fact, I've seen the opposite. I've seen black athletes being pushed. I mean, Rampage Jackson, when he came over from Pride, got a huge push from the UFC and the list goes on. Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier as we just said. But, if I did offend anybody I apologize. But there really wasn't any need for offense. But, you know how some people like to twist shit and say whatever.”
Twist shit? Say whatever? Welcome to the Internet!
Woodley is not alone in the complaint department. While he stopped short of using the word “racist,” lightweight contender Kevin Lee did accuse UFC of not doing enough to promote black fighters (more on that here).
Lee, it should be noted, will headline UFC 216 in October and while he got the promotion he was looking, they still managed to screw it up. Bisping, meanwhile, will move on to fight Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 later this year.
As far as the Diaz brothers ... I guess we’ll have to reassess this “gangster” claim.