Michael Bisping speaks about the release of his documentary

Michael Bisping speaks about the release of his documentary

BISPING: THE MICHAEL BISPING STORY is available to rent or own on digital from 21st March 2022.

 

I had the pleasure of speaking to Michael the day after the premiere of his phenomenal documentation of his life’s journey. To gain some insight on his thoughts regarding filming, the current UFC roster and his thoughts on the UFC‘s return to London.

 

I’m here with the 1st UK born UFC champion, UFC Hall of Famer, UFC commentator and now Documentarian, Michael “The Count” Bisping.

 

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me today Michael, It really is a tremendous honour. I’d also like to congratulate you on the premier of Bisping: The Michael Bisping Story.

 

“Oh my pleasure mate, my pleasure. It’s nice to talk to you. It was the premier yesterday, it was a very nerve-racking day obviously. I was very honest and raw, with a lot of emotions in it, but it came out good. The response so far has been fantastic, I’m nervous to see what people think of it.”

 

Well take it from me mate, it was absolutely phenomenal. I enjoyed every second of it.

 

“Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate it.”

 

This documentary dives deep into many aspects of your early life and career. It was quite visible that reliving some of these events was a little difficult for you. How did it feel to share these personal moments with the rest of the world?

 

“Yeah, it was tough. It was even tougher sitting there last night with my mum and my dad in attendance, talking about things like that. So much so, that I made sure I called my dad straight after saying are you sure you’ve got no issues with anything. He said “Nah, that’s what happened you know. It was a bit of a turbulent topsy-turvy household, it is what it is.” And then just in general, if you’re doing a documentary you gotta be honest. You can’t bull-shit people, doing that was a challenge, you know what I mean? But the directors and the producers pushed me, they were asking tough questions and whatnot. Probably trying to make me cry on purpose you know, get me emotional but eh, that’s what I signed up for.”

 

 

It was a really big account of your life and I have to admit, it did bring a tear to my eye.

 

“Ah thank you, thank you, Aaron.”

 

These accounts also showed the pure willingness for you to succeed in your endeavours to secure a better life for your family. It’s quite visible that family means everything to you. It must be an amazing feeling to have laid the foundations, as well as succeed in your mission, to secure a great life for them?

 

“Yeah, absolutely, that was always my motivation in life, you know. We live in California now, my son is at college in San Francisco and he’s doing a Master’s Degree in Business, he’s on the wrestling team, he’s got a scholarship. It’s good to think that my hard work is what presented those opportunities for him, you know. It is very nice to see, that was always the plan to try and provide for my family the only way I knew I could. I left school at 16, I didn’t have any qualifications, it was a gamble, it was a ride, it was definitely a roll of the dice. It didn’t even exist back then realistically like it does today. It’s all paid off and to sit back now, not that I do this very often, but if I step back and analyse and look at where I’m at I’m like, yeah, we did alright.”

 

 

Being a father myself, I could completely relate to your desire to do what’s best for your children.

 

“Exactly.”

 

Over the many subjects covered within the documentary, your rivalries throughout your career were the main focus. Your feuds with Dan Henderson and Luke Rockhold are ones the fans will remember most when reflecting on your fighting career. Which rivalry stands the most for you when reflecting on your time as a fighter?

 

“If you mention to me rivalry throughout my career, Dan Henderson I guess. I was gonna say, Vitor Belfort, not that it’s a rivalry, it is the guy that was on steroids and caused me to lose an eye ultimately, that name comes to mind. I guess Dan Henderson also, I had two fights with Rockhold as well, but I got the last laugh, you know what I mean. I got the last laugh on Hendo as well but. It’s all water under the bridge for the most part, apart from Vitor Belfort because he’s a cheating scumbag.”

 

Many huge names in and out of the MMA community have taken part in documenting your career. Karyn Bryant, Tito Ortiz and Michael Jai White just to name a few. How does it feel to have so many people hold you in such high regard?

 

“Yeah, that was one of the strangest, most complimentary, humbling experiences. To sit there and see these great people, saying these incredible words. I mean Rashard Evans starts crying because he was so proud of me, it’s mind-blowing. And then some of the things people say, it’s hard to find the right words to respond to that, you know. I’m kind of lost for words, to be honest, it’s just mind-blowing. I was never trying to do anything like that, I was never trying to inspire anybody. That wasn’t my plan, all I was trying to do is earn a few quid lol. I guess along the way I might have done that, so that’s amazing to see, I thank them all. It’s very appreciated.”

 

 

I’ve always been a fan of yours since falling in love with the sport. Watching your account of your journey has increased my admiration for you. I highly recommend our readers to grab the opportunity to watch this incredible documentation of your journey.

 

From sleeping in your car before events to being inducted into the hall of fame in 2019, there are many warriors competing to reach the heights you have within the UFC. Many great athletes are taking their first steps into the octagon. A stand out for me has to be Chris Barnett, his journey to the big stage really is one to admire. Are there any new additions to the roster that have stood out for you?

 

“That’s a tough one. I mean listen, Paddy “The Baddy” is fighting this weekend, he has made such a splash in the organisation already. He’s only had one win and as you said, Chris Barnett, he’s fun ain’t he, he’s definitely one to watch. You know there’s so many these days, it’s hard there’s so many. So many amazing fighters. I sit there and commentate every week and I’m like, I’ve never seen these guys before but they’re amazing. Obviously, I do my research, but when you see them in the Octagon and see what they’re capable of, the damage they can endure, the output, the pace and how skilled they are it’s mind-blowing. The level of the fighters these days, men and women, is just getting better and better all the time.”

 

I gotta admit, in the past 2 to 3 years they really have stepped up. They really are animalistic at the moment.

 

“Oh yeah, I sit there and I watch these fights and I think to myself, these people are fucking crazy and I used to do that didn’t I lol.”

 

This Saturday, the UFC returns to a special place in your heart, at the O2 Arena in London. Are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing on the UFC‘s return to the capital?

 

“Oh yeah absolutely, the main event for sure. Tom Aspinall is a future Heavyweight Champion potentially, he’s got a really tough fight this weekend. Volkov’s very big, very long, great striker. For Tom, this is a big fight, he’s 4-0, 4 stoppages, if he gets past Volkov he’s gonna be ranked number 5 or something so, he’ll be getting close. I’m really excited about that one. Paddy’s on there against Rodrigo Vargas, should be interesting. Top to bottom great fights and a real showcase of British MMA.”

 

Amongst the phenomenal card is Arnold Allen vs Dan Hooker in the Co-Main event.

 

“Oh, I forgot about that one, what a fight that is.”

 

If Arnold should get the victory over Hooker, do you believe he would be worthy of a shot at the King of the Featherweight Division Alexander Volkanovski?

 

“Well, yes, but I don’t think he’ll get one. He’s worthy of course, I think he’s on an 8 fight win streak, that would be 9. He’s incredible, he’s a great fighter. Arnold Allen is so technical he just needs to raise his profile a little bit, you know what I mean. He’s very similar to Leon Edwards. They’re both technically fantastic, but you don’t hear anything from them outside of the Octagon. That’s not the way it should be, it should be on merit alone, but there is an entertainment factor to the sport as well. The UFC put on the fights that people wanna see. If no one is talking about it, no one’s clamouring for it, then you’re probably not gonna see it. So on Saturday, if he wins, have something good to say on the microphone. Something memorable, he doesn’t have to sell himself short, he doesn’t have to make a dick out of himself, doesn’t have to be brash, crude or rude or whatever like I used to be. But have something to say, set your stall out, why fight for the belt, you know what I mean. He’s got all the potential in the world, he’s so technical but not too many people are aware of him, if you compare him to some of the more household names in MMA. But I think he’s sensational. I can’t wait for that fight, against Dan Hooker as well, that’s a very, very fun fight and a stylistic match-up. He beats Dan Hooker I mean, who we got at 145lb. There’s not too many because Volkanovski is going through them all ain’t he so, you got Max Holloway, Max will be after Chang Sung Jung that’s for sure. Let’s just say if Volkanovski is still the champ if he beats Max the 3rd time, which is not gonna be easy. If he does, then it’s all Arnold Allen.”

 

Thank you again Michael for taking the time to speak with me today, it really has been a pleasure.

 

“Nice talking to you also, all the best”

 

 

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