According to Dr. Suess, the Grinch was a miserable creature with male-pattern baldness and a heart two sizes too small. He and his poor doggie companion Max made a career stealing Christmas presents from the adorable children of Whoville.
Our own beloved Baldfather, Dana White, is sometimes accused of skimping on fighter pay. For instance, a few complaints by the Ghost of Shamrocks Past (Ken) can be found here. If the UFC President palled around with Andrei Arlovski’s pit-bull Maximus, we might have the makings of a sequel.
But not so fast. According to Michael Bisping, White never stole Christmas from anyone. In fact, he saved it.
In an interview with Fightography, Bisping said he was struggling financially in 2006. “I hadn’t fought for a year,” he remembered. “So even then, money was really tight. It really was. Things were getting quite desperate, to be honest. But you know, I’m thinking, ‘I’m fighting in the UFC now. I’ll have a fight soon.’”
Unfortunately, he spent six months waiting for that first post-Ultimate Fighter engagement, finally scheduled for December 30th against Eric Shafer. In the meantime, he couldn’t afford celebrating the holidays with his future wife and their children. That was when the Grinch saved Christmas.
“I remember one day Dana called me up, and I picked up the phone: ‘Hey Dana, how are you doing?’” Bisping said. “Obviously back then, and even still a little now, you’re star-struck. It’s the president of the UFC, and he calls me up and he says, ‘Michael, I know you’re not fighting until December. How are you doing for money?’ And, of course, I’m a man; I have pride. So, you know, I lied. I said, ‘Yeah, yeah. I’m doing OK.’”
“The reality was I was flat broke and we couldn’t even afford to put gas in the car, or petrol as we English call it. Dana said, ‘Shut up. I know you’ve got to be struggling. I’m going to send you a check.’ I was like, ‘Oh, alright. Cool.’ I didn’t think anything of it. … All of a sudden, through the mail, about a week later, a check for $10,000. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
“It was right before Christmas. I was able to have a good Christmas with my kids, buy some good presents. If it weren’t for that check , I couldn’t have done anything like that.”
And what happened then?
Well, in Vegas they say.
That the Baldfather’s heart grew three sizes that day!
And then the true meaning of Christmas was on us,
When Bisping collected a 50K bonus.*
Thanks John Morgan at MMAJunkie for the transcription.
*Bisping won a 50k discretionary bonus after UFC 66.