("I also look cooler in me leather jacket." Photo courtesy of the-fight-site.com)
Okay, maybe he hasn’t said he’s better in bed. But Michael Bisping has been laying into his Ultimate Fighter rival coach Dan Henderson lately, for a number of other reasons. First there was this interesting bit in his new TUF blog for UFC.com:
As you saw in the episode, I made good on my promise to ensure my team were at peak fitness. The footage of us running through Vegas was taken early in the morning. Basically, each team had two sessions in the gym later in the day so, in order to make sure Team UK were getting their cardio in but without affecting their ability to train in the gym, we ran at 8am.
Some people were surprised I was going to the house at 8am to run with them, but that’s the kind of coach I wanted to be. Plus, under the rules, Team UK – or Team USA for that matter – couldn’t leave the house except with me or to be taken to the gym. So if I didn’t run with them, they’d not be running at all. Without me going there and actually getting my guys, they would have no roadwork, and as a coach that wasn’t an option. As far as I know, Dan didn’t take his team out running or doing any cardio except what my team dubbed “Ultimate Frisbee”, which I think says it all. That was Team USA’s cardio training.
Bisping also slammed Hendo’s understated television persona and excuse-making:
I respect Dan and what he’s done in his great career, and I understand his gracious sentiment of “I’ll do my talking in the ring” but, ahem, he did sign up for a 12 week TV series. As far as I understood it, talking is kinda an important part of this audio-visual medium we call “television” but if things were left to Dan, TUF 9 would have had to been broadcast as a silent movie.
One of the few times Dan woke up was to moan about his team making weight “three times” for the fight whereas my team had enjoyed two weeks between their eliminator and the first fight. Dan was certainly getting his excuses in early here…ONE member of Team USA — Miller — had to make weight twice close together. One eliminator and one fight makes two times, not three as Dan tried to say.
The Count may have a point about Henderson’s lack of personality. So far, the American coach has only made brief appearances on the show he’s supposed to be starring in. Is that because all the footage of him is just too dull to air? Hopefully he’ll "wake up" when it’s actually time to fight Bisping, because the Brit thinks he already has his opponent figured out. As he told Setanta:
"[M]aybe I’m underestimating him but I don’t think I’ve got a lot to worry about. He’s got a big right hand and great clinch work, but outside of that I’ve got him beat. Having watched the Henderson/Franklin fight again, I have to say I wasn’t impressed at all. His striking looked sloppy, he fell on his arse a couple of times from kicks, landed a couple of big right hands but that was it really…He’s never been knocked out in his career, it’d be nice to be the first."
A couple years ago, this kind of trash-talk would be laughable. But Bisping is approaching his peak, Henderson’s peak is behind him, and at UFC 100 they’ll be meeting somewhere in the middle. Until then, Henderson has to start fighting back in the war of words, because Bisping is comfortably ahead on the judges’ scorecards right now.