Michael Bisping, speaking through his fellow countryman and self-designated public defender, UK Telegraph reporter Gareth Davies, offered up a feeble apology today for his in and post-fight antics during and following his UFC 127 bout with Jorge Rivera.
“Leading up to the fight, I wanted to be the bigger man and not rise up to it, but as it gathered more momentum, my blood was boiling more and more inside. The guy [Jorge Rivera] and his team relentlessly mocked me for a couple of months on the internet, and they definitely crossed the line a couple of times… and I was provoked and if anyone says they didn’t see that they are either blind or pig-ignorant. I went into the fight very angry. I let it get the better of me after the fight. I want to make it clear – I never spat on his cornerman. I spat on the floor to let him know what I thought of him…I said some words…I’m not even sure what the words were now, that was immediately after the fight had finished. After that, I instantly apologised. It was out of order. As a father, as a mixed martial artist, or possibly even as a role model, it’s not a way I should be behaving. It’s not how a mixed martial artist should be acting; not how any many should be acting. Of course, I do regret it, and I owe Dana [White, UFC CEO], and the UFC an apology and I won’t be acting like that again.”
Now if he left it at that, the apology may not have been construed as being transparent, but as Bisping explained, he can’t just be content with being the bigger man and taking the high road.
“If it is to be Chael Sonnen [who I fight next], he does trash talk a lot. But a lot of things that come out of his mouth I piss myself laughing; I think he’s hilarious. He comes out with good smack talk. (Unless, of course you’re Brazilian) If it was to be him next, I’d look forward to the verbal sparring, but I’m sure he wouldn’t go to the depths of offence that this guy did. It was out of order, and if anyone went to those lengths again, I would simply not rise to it. I’m ashamed of myself and I have apologised, he [Rivera] should be man enough to do the same. Of course, I’m not perfect, I still make mistakes, I’m human and I let things get the better of me as I did on night. Of course, lesson learnt. If he tries to go down that line, I’ve got previous experience and I will not let it get to me quite as much.”
The problem is, Bisping only apologized because he felt he had to. If he really was sorry, he wouldn’t have waited this long to ramble off an obviously empty PR-move of an apology in an attempt to silence the critics who Davies says “raged” for Bisping to be punished after the bout. There’s an old saying that says, when people use “but” in an apology, it means, “Ignore everything I said before the but.”
Bisping basically is saying, I’m sorry, but he was out of line so you can’t blame me for acting like an asshole.
He’s like the Australian bully who got his ass kicked by the older bigger kid he was accosting and has now come out and said that he was the real victim of bullying. It’s this “woe is me” attitude that isn’t gaining “The Count” any new fans, especially in the U.S. where Davies says MMA fans and reporters are on a witch hunt to vilify Bisping.
He still has yet to admit that the knee he landed on Rivera while he was on the mat was intentional, which is likely not a coincidence.
Remember, the last Brit who suckered a smack-talking opponent and was banished from the Octagon forever (and not the Karo Parisyan sense, either). Paul Daley made the mistake of admitting that he intentionally ignored the closing bell of his UFC 113 bout with Josh Koscheck last May and suffered consequences far greater than Bisping, who lost out on his UFC 127 win bonus as a result of his antics, which UFC president Dana White termed as being “deliberate.”
Although he says the monetary penalty was something he couldn’t argue with, Bisping basically thumbed his nose at the punishment he received from the UFC.
“You could say that [it was a substantial fine], but I never expect the bonuses anyway, if I’m honest. As I said, I’m contracted with a certain amount of money which I am very, very happy with, the UFC have me on a very good contract, but you do your job, you are a good employee, you do your PR work, you put on a good fight, and nine times out of ten, they look after you,” Bisping boldly explained. “This time, I never received anything. Rightly so, I was out of order. And the UFC had to do something.”
Only the example the UFC set with the punishment, which seems like it was only done for appearances when you hear Bisping slough it off as being no big deal since he wasn’t expecting it, was one that won’t necessarily deter others from following Bisping’s unscrupulous lead.