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Say it again: Bisping's greatest soundbytes


Once the most polarizing fighter in the UFC, middleweight contender Michael “The Count” Bisping remains a straight shooter who likes to stir the pot, and that won’t change with his UFC FIGHT PASS main event against Anderson Silva on Feb. 27 rapidly approaching. But as fans and media have discovered over the years, behind the bluster is a fighter who is really just – as folks in his native England would say – one of the lads.

But you can judge for yourself with a few memorable quotes uttered by Bisping since he arrived in the UFC.

“I suppose it is quite a lot of pressure because people have always been quick to write the English off and say, ‘Ah, they don’t know what they’re doing over there and they’re not too good.’ So I hope to fly the flag well and change people’s opinions on that. So far I’m doing a good job, but it’s still early. I do take that responsibility seriously though and I definitely want to do the UK proud.”

“Careerwise, nothing ever grabbed me, so I went to college and I ended up doing a course for advanced electrical engineering. It just bored me to tears. I did it for three months and just left because I was falling asleep in the classes.”


“You name it, I’ve done it. But they were all the crappy jobs though, nothing too flamboyant. I was a slaughterman, builder, and laborer.

“You always think you’re going to be great and you’re going to do things, but then I got in my early 20’s and I was quite disappointed. And if I was being realistic, my life was going nowhere really. And it was going nowhere fast and I wasn’t getting any younger.”

“I had never been happy in anything I did. So when I started training full-time for mixed martial arts in the summer of 2003, it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“My girlfriend couldn’t be any more supportive than she has been. She knew I wasn’t happy in the jobs I was in and she always wanted better for me and always knew that I was capable of much more. So when I took this move, she was right behind me and was confident that I could do well. And ultimately, she knows that I’m doing this for myself and for my family.”

“You tell them what you do and they look at you a bit strange or think you’re a thug. They have no idea of the technical aspects involved. But I bore people to death at great lengths to educate them.”

“I never had anything handed to me, and everything that I’ve had, I had to work for. My mum and dad never had much money and I had a humble upbringing. I’ve done the crappy jobs, I worked 12 hour days in the middle of the winter, getting up when it’s pitch dark and going home when it’s pitch black. Now I’ve left that all behind for the moment, and fingers crossed I won’t go back to it. That definitely gives me a little extra drive. I’ve moved on from that and I don’t want to go back. It keeps my feet on the ground, keeps me working hard, and keeps me training and focused.”

“You’re not gonna see me in any factories for quite some time.”

“I’m just a normal guy and I will always be just one of the lads. I’m just fortunate enough that I get paid to do a job that I love and that I’m passionate about. With that job, a few people know who you are and I’m earning good money now, but I’ll always be the same person, and I’ve got a lot of people to keep me grounded – my family and my friends – so I don’t live the Hollywood lifestyle. Between fights, I’m just training in the gym, and when I’m not in the gym I’m just at home with my girlfriend and the kids, so it’s just usual stuff really.”

“I love what I do now, and in interviews, people always ask what’s changed about my life, and the main thing that’s changed is that I’m happy. I’m happy with what I do and I never want to go back to working the long days for next to no money. That’s what makes me train so hard. When I’m training for a fight, I don’t mess around, I’m there for business.”

“I’m absolutely comfortable with that, and it’s a great honor. I’ve never really given it that much thought, but I do get quite a few emails from kids through my website and recently I went to a home for boys and had a talk with them about the future and things like that and they seemed to really listen to me and I think I connected with them. I’m very happy about that and if I can make some kind of difference and maybe give kids inspiration to stay on the straight and narrow, train, and do good things in their lives, then that’s great that I’m in the position to do that. It’s something I welcome and take seriously.”

I AM WHO I AM (2009)
“I am who I am. I speak my mind, but a lot of what I say sometimes is tongue in cheek and I think sometimes people don’t get that and they just think I’m being arrogant and cocky. I don’t class myself as arrogant. I’m still learning my trade, but you have to have confidence. What do the people want me to say? Do they want me to say I’m fighting someone really tough as Dan (Henderson) and I’m gonna get my ass kicked? I can’t say that. I believe I’m gonna win the fight and sometimes it upsets people. I don’t know what to say to those people; I’m just trying to go about my business and take care of my kids. As long as the people closest to me in my life are happy, as long as I’m doing right by my kids, my team, and everyone close to me, then I’m doing a pretty good job. Obviously there are fans out there who are fantastic and really support me. Some of the messages I get through my website are pretty incredible. People say how I’ve changed their lives and really inspired them to get fit, and how my success has inspired them to change their lives. That’s amazing and I answer every single email. But not everybody feels that way and I think The Ultimate Fighter did it even more. The people that like me liked me even more, and the people that hated me hated me even more.”

“Obviously my last fight didn’t go as planned, and that’s a bit of an understatement. To be honest I don’t have any excuses. I got hit with a good shot and I got knocked out. I thought I was doing pretty well in the fight. I lost the first round. I was winning the second up until I got caught, and if I didn’t get caught I could have gone on to win that fight. It’s not like I was getting completely manhandled and destroyed and being punked. But I did get caught and knocked out.”

TRASH TALKING 101 (2011)
“I’ve got a rep for talking smack, and I’m not saying I don’t talk crap here and there, but I’ve never started anything first. Look at my career and you’ll see guys like Dan Miller, (Yoshihiro) Akiyama, nothing but respect all the way.”

“I think he’s got a big carried away with himself because he’s knocked out a few bums here and a shot fighter or two there lately. All of a sudden he thinks he’s a top fighter and something of a tough guy smacktalker. Oh, okay Jorge. But before he makes a proper arse of himself I think he needs to look closely at the people he’s been beating, and ask himself why he’s been beating them. Seriously, out of his last three opponents, I only knew of Nate Quarry. I had to Google the other two. I’m not saying Rivera’s not dangerous; he can obviously punch and can have a war, but I’m surprised he’s been talking the way he has. We’re talking about a guy who got tapped out by a welterweight kickboxer (Martin Kampmann in 2008).”

“The name Jorge Rivera didn’t exactly send a surge of excitement through me, put it that way. After three good wins over (Denis) Kang, Miller and Akiyama and a very close loss to Wanderlei Silva – which I think to this day I just about won - I was hoping to have earned myself a bigger name opponent again. But I have never, ever turned down an opponent offered me by the UFC. I don’t do that and I don’t expect special credit for being like that. I’m a UFC fighter and I fight whoever they want me to fight. So, Rivera it is. I feel like even if I win, I don’t move forward, but I plan of smashing him and making as big a statement as I can.”

“I must have given a thousand interviews since joining the UFC. I consider it a privilege to be asked, and to be asked to represent the UFC and the sport by talking to the media on their behalf. There are fighters who try and mess the UFC around and not do PR stuff, but it is part of the job. It’s actually in the contract that you do this stuff, and really, why wouldn’t you want to promote the sport we all make a living out of?”

“In my opinion, I think I fight better when I’m - for want of a better word - pissed off. So for me, that does help. I’m emotional in and out of the ring, and before and after a fight I’m emotional, but generally when I’m fighting, I’m very, very focused and I’m focusing on what needs to be done as opposed to doing anything silly because of letting my emotions get the better of me.”

 Don’t miss Silva vs Bisping! The biggest fight in the history of UFC FIGHT PASS originates from London on February 27

“If you go on the internet and believe everything that’s said there, I’m not too popular. But in my experience in day to day life, people are very, very kind to me. I live out here in California now, and people always have nice things to say. Obviously when they’ve got a keyboard to hide behind, they say something differently. When it comes to some of the hardcore fans and the guys who do talk about me, I think they see some of my antics and they do look past my skills. If you go on the Underground (forum) and look at the things they say, you’d think I couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag, but I lost a split decision to Rashad Evans, I got robbed of a decision against Wanderlei (Silva), and I got knocked out against Dan Henderson. Against Dan Henderson, that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned a lot from that fight and I realized a lot of the mistakes I was making. The other two fights were razor-thin. Other than that, I’ve stopped most of my guys, I have something like a 70% stoppage rate, contrary to the idea that everybody has that I can’t punch as well. So I think that (his antics) does overshadow it sometimes, but that is the situation.”

“There’s no doubt about it, he’s a tough opponent, has great wrestling, and he’s a grinder. But he’s got no submission defense, and Chael Sonnen’s best weapon is his mouth, and that’s something that’s going to be absolutely useless in this fight. I see a very bright future for Chael Sonnen as a used car salesman very soon.”

“The fact that I’m winning, the fact that I’m a natural competitor, the fact that I’ll lose almost half of my fight purse if I lose, the fact that if I beat him it gets me a title shot, that’s all the motivation I need. The fact that he may or may not be calling me names doesn’t really come into it. I have my goals that I want to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice and it always spices it up a little bit when they talk a little s**t, but I don’t need it.”

A BAD GUY? (2012)
“I’ll be honest, it’s more fun being the bad guy (Laughs), because you want to vent, and if you’re the bad guy, you’ve got a place to vent and tell people to go screw themselves, but I’m pretty much a nice guy anyway. I’m a family man, I’ve got three kids, and it’s not that hard to embrace it (being a fan favorite).”

"I certainly don’t get offended by it. More power to them. If they want to call me out, good for them. We’re fighters, I’m a fighter in their weight class, so I don’t fault them. Do I take it as a compliment? Yeah, I suppose so."

"I could give one of the run of the mill answers that it would be the icing on the cake, and of course, every fighter wants that, to be world champion. And it was always a dream of mine to be world champion and be the first British UFC champion, it would be great and it would put me in the history books. That would be awesome. But that’s really not what I got into this sport for. I didn’t get into this for my ego and to go down in the history books. I got into this sport to look after my family and to provide. I never went to school, when I left school at 14 I didn’t go to college or university or anything, and that was my fault. I always had a good head on my shoulders, but I wanted to go straight into the workplace and put some money in my backpocket because my parents never had any. I got into this to provide for my family, and I’ve achieved that and I want to continue doing that for a lot, lot longer and hopefully set myself up for a post-fight career and things like that. If I can get the title along the way, that’s awesome, of course that’s what I want and I’ve always strived for that and I’ll always be hungry to do that. Will I look at my career as a failed career if I don’t get that? No, I won’t. I’ve achieved a lot in this sport, I still have a lot to achieve and I want to be the champion, but I still don’t feel like I’ve fought to the best of my ability yet for one reason or another, and that’s what I want to do. I want to go out there and show the world what I can really do."

More about Fight Night London: High stakes as Bisping, Silva set to fight | Michael Bisping's defining moments | Watch free fight: Silva vs. Bonnar

“It is an incredible feeling. There will never be any replacing that. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum at times, but I’ve had tremendous support throughout my career and it’s incredible. To walk out into an arena and for them to erupt into applause and screams, it’s nuts. I never thought I’d experience that, and it’s the biggest high. It really sets your adrenalin on fire and it really blows my mind."

"I’ve had every s**tty job under the sun, and I never, ever want to go back to that again. (Laughs) I still feel I have to pinch myself every day to be in the position that I am. Yeah, I’ve worked my ass off and yeah, I’ve had some talent and I’ve also had some lucky breaks along the way, but I never want to go back to that lifestyle. I enjoy the life that I live now, and that’s what keeps me so hungry. Secondly, I want to be the champion and I feel I’m destined to do that, and I feel I have what it takes. If I never even get the chance to fight for the title after being involved in the sport for so long would be very upsetting to me, but I feel I’ve got the potential.”

“It’s been the best ride of my life. I remember (UFC President) Dana White saying some things when we came off The Ultimate Fighter and it’s fully lived up to everything he’s said and far exceeded it. Being part of the UFC family, I’m so proud and so happy with my life. I’m a lucky man. I get paid well, but I truly love my job. I love being a part of the UFC, I love being a professional fighter, and I love the rewards that it gives to me and my family. So it’s unbelievable.”