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British Writer Accuses American Media of ‘Witchhunt’ Against Bisping; American Media is Like, ‘WTF?’

(“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? And if you wrong us, shall we not spit on you and then strut around like the cock of the walk afterward?” Pic: Zimbio)

UK Telegraph boxing and MMA correspondent Gareth A. Davies is tired of all these yanks talking rubbish about Michael Bisping! Davies over the weekend authored a strange and sweeping indictment of how American MMA writers have responded to Bisping cheating to win against Jorge Rivera last month at UFC 127 before spitting in the direction of Rivera’s credentialed  cornermen. At the risk of sounding like an unbelievable homer, Davies describes the media reaction from our side of the pond as “near-hysterical” and even busts out the term “witchhunt” to propose that Bisping has somehow been unfairly persecuted for his actions.

Pretty weird, right? Ever weirder, Davies specifically goes after Yahoo’s Steve Cofield (an unassuming dude if there ever was one) for daring to quote Nate Marquardt calling out Bisping after his own win last weekend at UFC 128 without – and this is where the logic gets really shaky – providing “balance” by somehow working in Marquardt’s positive steroid test from 2005 and also mentioning the allegations that he turned down a fight with Bisping at UFC 114 (because his wife was set to have a baby three days before the event). Davies rhetorically shouts: “Can there be any doubt at all there is a (sic) acutely American media bias towards Bisping?”

Actually no, there’s no denying it. Better question: Can there be any doubt that he deserves it?

In our book, Bisping’s unique blend of spitting and cheating more than justifies any scorn he’s received afterward. Davies, though, appears really steamed that the media has allowed guys like Marquardt and Chael Sonnen issue challenges to “The Count” without rehashing their own checkered pasts (as if any of us needs a reminder that Sonnen is a liar, a felon and possible steroid cheat).

“Am I the only member of the media who can recall this same Marquardt bringing home his own illegal knee to a downed opponent just two years ago?” Asks Davies, before totally misremembering it.

“It was against Wilson Gouveia [CORRECTION: It was Thales Leites at UFC 85]. Am I also the only one to recall Marquardt followed that foul up with an illegal strike to the back of the head later in the fight? I know. I was there watching it live. Didn’t Marquardt himself bring the sport into disrepute – by testing positive for steroids on his UFC debut? … Spitting? Or steroids? Take your pick.”

Well, just one of the many differences between the Marquardt situation and the Bisping incident is that Marquardt’s fouls caused him to lose his fight at UFC 85, whereas Bisping’s foul may well have helped him win his at 127. But whatever. Additionally, defining this argument as if fans must pick between spitters and steroid users (we’d choose neither, actually) is so ridiculously odd that we might suggest Davies has allowed himself to become too emotionally close to this situation to really see it clearly.

In our heart of hearts, we kind of dig that the British journalist uses the word “witchhunt” to describe this state of affairs because, well, it suggests that Michael Bisping could be a witch. In a more literal sense however, that particular word is totally inapplicable here since it implies that the person being persecuted is – you know — innocent. Not even Davies tries to craft the argument that Bisping was right to act like an unbelievable asshole at UFC 127. In fact, he calls Bisping’s actions “utterly wrong,” and simply asserts that he wants his American counterparts to provide some balance … or context … or something, to their follow-up stories.

OK fine, if it’ll make everybody feel better, please allow us to bring some balance to the situation: Other MMA fighters – some of them (gasp!) American — have also cheated and acted like unrepentant dicks before, during and after their fights. Fuck those guys, too.

There, we all happy now?

Cagepotato Comments

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MMA_Hole- March 24, 2011 at 9:23 am
@Seoul Brother: You write fairly melodramatically for someone who detests melodrama.
Seoul Brother- March 24, 2011 at 7:12 am
@MMA_Hole: I recognize it's not a soap opera. If i wanted a soap opera & combat sports, I'd watch pro wrestling. I detest melodrama.

And as far as growing as a fighter, He's SUPPOSED to grow and evolve. Even a polarizing fighter like Chris Leben has grown as a fighter.
MMA_Hole- March 24, 2011 at 3:05 am
@Seoul Brother: It's far from splitting hairs, there's a huge difference.

You seem to be projecting larger than life personalities upon the fighters. It's not a soap opera. Also, Bisping has grown as a fighter, clearly. Like him or loathe him, his improvement over the last few years should be blatantly obvious, even to the most ardent hater.
MMA_Hole- March 24, 2011 at 2:58 am
@Waxedpants: Remember in the last season where Koscheck attacked the nurse without provocation and the whole Internet was up in arms? Remember when it came to light later that said nurse had actually been being grossly offensive to the Armenian members of Koshcheck's team and he had been sticking up for them? That right there is a prime example of leaving footage on the cutting room floor because it doesn't fit the preconceived pantomime personalities that TUF ratings depend upon.

Your assertion that Bisping's personality can be determined from the relatively small amount of footage that the TUF editing team selected is, at best, hilariously naive.
Waxedpants- March 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm
In case I wasn't clear ....
Waxedpants- March 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm
Of course TUF is edited to maximize drama --- that doesn't take away at all from Bispings personality on the show -- did they just edit out all the times he was professional and respectful to everyone ? No. He spent the whole time being a total douche. Editing is not responsible for his blatant douchiness.
Seoul Brother- March 23, 2011 at 11:15 am
@MMA_Hole: Whether he spat ON or AT his opponent's cornermen is splitting hairs. It was still a grossly abhorrent thing to do, and as I've said before NONE of the assholes I mentioned earlier have done something like that with perhaps the exception of Tito, and I fucking hate that melon-headed idiot.

You're absolutely right about the tone of "TUF," which is why I stopped watching that shitheap a LONG time ago. It is utter bullshit contrived to bring out the worst in people all in the name of melodrama and ratings.

As far as Bisping, he talks a lot of shit, bitches and whines, and generally acts the prick. I wouldn't mind so much as with a fighter like Dan Hardy who has been humbled by his losses and bloody well understands that he has to grow and evolve as a fighter. No, Bisping is an egotistical bastard. I'd like to believe that he can grow as a fighter and as a man, but I'd also love to see any decent fighter give him an asswhooping worse than the humiliation Dan Henderson gave him.
MMA_Hole- March 23, 2011 at 9:44 am
@Seoul Brother: With regards to the spitting, neither has Bisping. Granted, both are inexcusable but there is a big difference between spitting on someones cornermen and spitting on the ground in front of them.

I'd also dispute the insinuation that Bisping is a dirty fighter. He may have landed the odd inadvertent low shot over his comparatively lengthy career or grabbed for the fence instinctively once or twice but no more than any other fighter. These things happen. If I'm forgetting anything, let me know.

I'm not convinced that the illegal knee on Riveria was deliberate anyway. The way I saw it, Riveria was getting to his feet and Bisping was waiting for the opportune time to throw the knee. He thought that Riveria was going to get up in one fluid movement but he didn't, instead stopping on his knees. You can see Bisping looking down and the moment after he sees Riveria's hands come off the matt he throws. If Riveria had got up in one fluid motion, as Bisping seemingly expected him to, the knee would have landed perfectly. He didn't and Bisping mistimed the strike.

Only Mike himself knows if he really threw that strike intentionally but regardless, the scenario I've outlined above is incredibly common in MMA and in all honesty, if the knee had been thrown by anyone but Bisping, that person would have likely been afforded the benefit of the doubt.

Bisping's personality doesn't upset me as much as it seems to upset you. He's a bit rough around the edges, speaks his mind and won't take any shit. I don't see a whole lot wrong with that. In fact, I prefer to watch a personality like that than a lot of the cookie cutter quote machines that currently populate the UFC. There's only so much manufactured hype and so many rehearsed, soundbite laden post-fight interviews I can take. At least when Bisping says something, you know he means it.

I'd advise against judging anyone's personality on how they come across on TUF. That show's edited to the point of comedy.

I'd also advise against describing any man who fights other men in cages for a living as 'cowardly', particularly if you're doing from behind the safety of a keyboard.
k-onda- March 23, 2011 at 5:41 am
@ TheHuytonHandGrenade and @ RwilsonR, All fans love to root for the home team, but this doesn't preclude US fans from showing love for foreign fighters - look at the recent UFC, USA chants for Jones vs. Shogun, and same for Miller vs. Shallarus, but then the same fans were chanting "Lets go CroCop, Lets Go!" in his fight agains Schaub, go figure?
Seoul Brother- March 23, 2011 at 4:25 am
@MMA_Hole: Well in all due fairness, I've never liked Bisping from the first time I saw him on "The Ultimate Fighter." He was a smug fucking cunt then, and he's a smug fucking cunt now. He's a cowardly little fighter and a poor ambassador for the sport.

It's not like the Rivera fight was the first time he's used illegal techniques, and I have a feeling that it won't be the last. To be fair to other assholes in MMA, Cage Potato shits on other fighters like Tito Ortiz, Karo Parisyan, and Josh Barnett, not to mention Badr Hari. But while they have all acted like prime douchebags, NOT ONE OF THEM has spit on cornermen.
Anzus- March 23, 2011 at 4:19 am
He's a fucking wingeing pom doing what poms do. Move on.
MMA_Hole- March 23, 2011 at 2:59 am
Davies is an idiot.

In fairness though, the way Bisping is demonised by the MMA community is laughably disproportionate to his actual behaviour and Cage Potato is one of the worst offenders. Whenever Bisping's name comes up the writers here suddenly morph into bitchy 13 year old girls. It's genuinely cringeworthy to read sometimes. Seeing Jorge Riveria's videos described as 'hilarious' was a recent low point.

There are countless MMA 'journalists' the world over writing countless badly researched and poorly written articles about the sport. Cage Potato doesn't write pieces about those. The only reason the article on this page exists was because Cage Potato's writers saw an opportunity to write another thinly veiled Bisping bashing article. This kind of piece has all the journalistic worth of the average teenager's post on Sherdog.

In that sense, Davies has a point.
Sjsurf- March 23, 2011 at 12:33 am
so if it spits at a cornerman, and illegally knees a downed must be... A WITCH!
noizy- March 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm
Gareth A. Davies is being such a shill for Bisping. He ran away like a kid who stole candy in a store after that knee. Davies is swallowing Michael's sob stories.
Waxedpants- March 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm
I have considered him to have some douchebaggy personality traits since his coaching stint on TUF but I never disliked the guy and I have enjoyed many of his fights. He's been fun to watch.


That knee was as intentional as any illegal blow in the history of mma and the spitting was so lame I thought he should be fined and forced to make a public apology.
AndyInflammatory- March 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm
...and the non-events continue.

Unfortunately this sort of weak-sauce editorialism that passes as "real news" is how MMA Journalism is defined these days.

Since when has ANY reputable news source had stories like CPs "We hATe bISPing lol wHaT a cUNt"..?

Its tabloid shit
Vera- March 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm
2 things about that knee!

1. It was intentional and
2. Riveria looked up at the referee after the knee landed and when he say the referee running in to protest, then he went down injured!
nuclearblast- March 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Lost only once ?

Loss 14-1 Rashad Evans Decision (Split)
Loss 17-2 Dan Henderson KO (Punch)
Loss 18-3 Wanderlei Silva Decision (Unanimous)

And what's the biggest name he actually won against ?

Hammil ? He didnt really won.

Kang ? Leben ? Sexyama ? Dan Miller ?

I do enjoy watch him fight...especially when he's circling the wrong way.
Kid Clam Curtains- March 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm
This bisping character is a polarizing figure. Some great debates in here guys. You should all be proud.
tribal- March 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm
Gareth Davies is a former boxing writer who was brought in by the British press when the UFC just started to get big over there. He is completely ignorant about all things MMA and really England (and the planet) would be better off without him.
glassjawsh- March 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm
the answer is you're both dumb. who cares if there's a bias against a guy who makes 7 figures a year to do something he loves. BOO FUCKING HOO!!

and OMG!!! i can't possibly believe that americans don't care for a acockney british douchbag. ZOINKS SCOOBY!!! EVERYONE'S AN IDIOT! MYSTERY SOLVED!

non-story on both sides
IsnappedYourarm- March 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm
Brits are so sensitive, smug, and self loathing. This is not a surprise.
RwilsonR- March 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm
TheHuytonHandGrenade - that is the biggest pile of crap I've heard. The American audience has welcomed fighters from all over, and even though a few midwesterners may chant "USA" from time to time, you can't even compare the British fanboy love of Bisping to anything American fans or media have done. And the American MMA media has no discernable bias towards American fighters at all. Look at coverage of GSP, Anderson Silva, or even fighters with much less talent. There is no sentiment of American MMA media actively rooting for the American fighter over the foreign fighter like there is with Bisping in the UK, or even G-Sot in Australia (sorry FBF, I love G-Sot too).
just some dong- March 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm
The ironic thing is that it's actually Davies' bias toward US jounalists that's made evident by his article—not a bias among US journalists toward Bisping. From reading this piece, one can only surmise that Davies believes US fans and journalists have a beef with Bisping simply because he's foreign, as if there's some sort of dubious double standard. This couldn't be further from the truth. We Americans love to hate Bisping because he's a phony, and we all can see it. It's Davies who's wearing the rose-colored glasses when looking at "The Count". Bisping is so obviously a poor sport, whether he's winning or losing. He's beyond arrogant, yet he acts as if he's not, and it's revolting to anyone who can see the man for what he is. This is why Bisping catches so much heat when he blatantly breaks the rules of the sport—or say, the basics of human conduct.
Seoul Brother- March 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm
If you use illegal techniques, you are still a fucking cunt even if you get a point deducted. Just because the ref was smart enough to deduct a point doesn't mean that you're a shitty sportsman. Now if you do this sort of thing more than once, then you're most definitely a shitheel of a man as well as an embarrassment of a sportsman.

I don't care where a fighter is from. I don't subscribe to marginalizing someone based on where they're from, what sports teams they root for, what beer they drink, or any other stupid criteria. If he can't act like a man in the octagon, then we should all bitchslap his father for not pulling out early and glazing his momma's face like a donut.