Interviews

Michael Bisping Unplugged and Unhinged

The UFC middleweight champion talks to 'Muscle & Fitness' about his podcast, acting, and his UFC 217 title defense against GSP.

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Michael Bisping Unplugged and Unhinged
osh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Contributor / Getty

For someone verbally talented enough to create bulletin board material each time he opens his mouth, it’s a shame that UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping only has enough time to spend an hour a week hosting his own podcast.

Love him or loathe him, Bisping makes trash-talking look effortless, and more often than not leaves listeners thinking, “WTF?” And whether Bisping (31-7) indeed does call it quits after his UFC 217 title defense against UFC legend Georges St. Pierre at Madison Square Garden on November 4, his post-fight afterlife is pretty much a lock. “I guess people like to listen to the bollocks that come out of my mouth, so I record it and I ask some money from it,” Bisping says about his recently launched, no-holds-barred podcast, “Believe You Me With Michael Bisping” with co-host comedian Luis J. Gomez. “What's the endgame with it? I don't know. I couldn't tell you.”

Stirring the pot is too easy for the brash Brit, no matter the topic or location. Recently, both fighters made the media rounds, with, at one point during a morning show appearance, the topic switching from fighting to acting for the pair of fledgling part-time artists. According to Bisping, GSP, whose film credits include a role in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, quickly made his claim to be top thespian among the two.

“Jesus Christ, that [comment] was the best acting I've ever seen him do, because that guy can't act to save his goddamn life,” says Bisping, whose own IMDb credits include roles in xXx: Return of Xander Cage and My Name Is Lenny. "I'm not saying that I'm fucking De Niro either, but I've definitely got fucking Georges St-Pierre beat.”

Bisping goes on: “He even gets voice-overed, for crying out loud. Jesus Christ. You know, you don't even want his voice in there. He sounds like a little, squeaky dog chew toy. It's like, ‘Who fucking gave the dog the chew toy again? Oh, it's Georges talking.’”

But with about five weeks to go before they actually throwdown, Bisping, who will enter the Octagon for a UFC-record 18th time, has to contend with the mystery surrounding the new and re-energized GSP (25-2), who hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013. The former welterweight champion says he’s hungrier than ever, and has been working with legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach while adding more size to his frame and even gymnastics to his regimen. Any concern for Bisping?

“Who knows?” Bisping says. “Maybe he's going to come up and do a somersault over the cage, do a capoeira kick, then shoot a fucking fireball at me. I have no idea what Georges St-Pierre is going to come to the table with.”

But like a champion fighter and veteran podcast host, Bisping knows how and when to scale it back when necessary. Just a little.

“Georges is a decent guy. I like Georges,” Bisping says. “He's a class act. He's a good fighter, a good athlete, you know, the consummate professional. He's a great example to young children. He really is. So it's a shame I'm going to have to beat him up in front of the world.”

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