Today marks the one year anniversary of Michael Bisping capturing the UFC Middleweight title. During that time, he has defended the belt just a single time, a controversial decision win over Dan Henderson. Despite the inactivity, the year have been full of rumored fights and gruge matches, first a rematch with Luck Rockhold, and then against surging contender and product of the Soviet genetic program, Yoel Romero. These relevant fights were consistently brushed aside for bizarre, but more commercially lucrative match ups. And that seems to be a regular trend with Bisping on deck to fight former Welterweight legend, George St. Pierre. Amidst all this stupidity surrounding Bisping’s title reign, it’s really easy to forget that when he took the title, it was fucking awesome.
“The Count” took the fight with two weeks notice, leaving the set of a movie he was filming. And he made sure everyone knew it. Repeatedly. The original opponent Chris Wiedman, had been given a rematch because the promotion had briefly forgotten how to match make. So, while people weren’t exactly excited for the fight (it wasn’t going to be competitive), the sentiment was at least the lead up will be fun. Rockhold can just trash Bisping and then we can go back to making relevant fights in the division. Enter one Michael Bisping…
Realizing it was probably his last shot at a UFC title, and coming off a controversial win over Anderson Silva, Michael went into the fight in classic Bisping style. Meaning he was going to talk a whole bunch of shit. In what may have been Bisping at his funniest, he obliterated poor Rockhold in the pre-fight press conference. Rockhold’s confidence which seemed so well placed at the time, now seem like the proverbial pride before the fall. This may be some of Bisping’s final moments behind the mic. And they only lead up to his finest moment inside the cage.
My favorite moments of the awesome compilation are the brief windows of sincere sportsmanship that Bisping experiences, that get almost instantaneously slammed shut by him being a complete d**k. It’s just too funny for words. He literally goes from shaking his opponent’s hand, to making fun of him for getting knocked out in a half second. And somehow he feels disrespected by that exchange. Amazing. A psychological study of Michael Bisping’s personality could be a doctor’s thesis.
In the post-fight press conference, it’s almost like we are watching the genesis of Champion Bisping, mastermind of the worst title reign in UFC history and generally insufferably prick.
But let’s not forget this one moment from that day were the train went off the rails. For a small space in time immediately after winning, Michael surprised himself enough that for just a tiny fraction of a moment, he was genuine. And the person he was in that moment was grateful, was over come with joy, overwhelmed by the moment. He was dumbstruck. That moment revealed my favorite Michael Bisping. It confirmed that in his finest moment, even he couldn’t keep the facade up. And in that brief slice of time, all he could manage to do was say thank you.