It’s been several weeks since UFC 127 when Michael Bisping seemingly pissed off every MMA fan and fighter in existence when he illegally kneed Jorge Rivera then proceeded to spit on his corner after the fight. Bisping was smart to let everyone’s emotions cool down before the addressing the situation and now that the incident is yesterday’s news, Bisping has chosen to issue his apology and express his remorse in an interview with The Telegraph (though not without reiterating that he only intended to spit on the ground, not on Rivera’s actual cornerman).
“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.”
Given that his apology was the primary message he wanted to get across, Bisping didn’t respond to any of the comments professional trash-talker Chael Sonnen made about him following the incident. But that doesn’t mean he won’t in the future. Bisping says he looks forward to “verbally sparring” with Sonnen if that’s the opponent the UFC lines up for him.
“People can talk smack about me all they like, they have in the past, you only have to look at any one of a number of websites out there…I have no problem with that. What [Jorge Rivera] was doing was that he was insinuating my partner had a sexually transmitted diseases, talking crap about my country, crap about my family, insinuating I was not even English, chanting a song that I was a d— d— d—, it just went over the top really and I shouldn’t have let it get to me. But it did.”
“If it is to be Chael Sonnen, 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. 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 [Rivera] 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.”
As for his Bisping’s punishment, Dana White revealed last week that they didn’t give him his bonus. Bisping confirmed that, saying “after nearly every fight they have gone above and beyond the call of duty and given me a very, very generous bonus. And that didn’t happen this time.”
Image via Dan Herbetson for MMA Fighting