Michael Bisping has never been shy about speaking what’s on his mind.
The final Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) of 2022 ended in controversial fashion. Capped off by two questionable decisions, UFC 282’s co-main event featured rising Lightweight star, Paddy Pimblett. The Liverpool, England, native scored his fourth consecutive victory, earning a unanimous decision against Jared Gordon (watch highlights).
Unfortunately for Pimblett, the majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community felt the judges robbed Gordon of a big win. Among those voicing their opinions was Bisping, who has since revealed he’s received his fair share of hate from the Pimblett fan base.
“I’ve seen a lot of people come out and say, ‘Oh, look at that. Bisping jumped straight on the hate bandwagon of Paddy.’ No, I haven’t,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “Not in any way shape or form. My job, we are analysts, commentators, we do a show in mixed martial arts. We gotta be honest about what we see.
“Listen, I support all the U.K. fighters. I support everyone. May the best man win, to be honest,” he continued. “But the people of the U.K., obviously, I’m British and we have a small footprint in the UFC so they have a special place in my heart. But when I watch a fight, I can’t lie. Would you prefer I lied about what I saw? Just because I want to support Paddy or support someone from the U.K.? Nobody’s gonna respect that. I cannot physically lie just because I want to make Paddy seem better. That is not because I’m hating. It’s because when I saw, I thought Jared won the fight, and so did 99 percent of the goddamn world. So what? Life goes on.”
Parallels have been easy to draw between Bisping and Pimblett in their respective careers. Like Bisping, Pimblett also entered the promotion as a Cage Warriors champion in their home country. Upon Bisping’s arrival, he was undefeated in 10 fights before getting his opportunity through The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which he won and went on to become notorious for his trash talk and spirited fighting style.
“Some of the way he handled it afterward wasn’t the best,” Bisping said of Pimblett. “I can’t talk s—t because I did a similar thing myself back in the day so I’ve literally been in that position 15 years ago. You’re young, you get a lot of attention, maybe a little bit of it goes to your head, and you start to think sometimes your s—t doesn’t stink. Your s—t still stinks. Everyone’s does. It doesn’t matter how big you get.”