The now retired Bisping says that he was simply trying to be a verbal sparring partner for the often controversial Covington.
“Colby Covington, he’s Mr. Controversy,” Bisping said on Believe You Me. “Everywhere he goes he tries to create controversy. For crying out loud, he tweets out spoilers to the new ‘Star Wars’ movies and things like that. So when he came on, the first thing he did was, ‘(Expletive) you guys up there on the panel. Kiss my ass. You all picked me to lose.’ So, I thought, ‘OK, here we go. We’ve got Colby Covington in rare form. This is what he likes to do.’ So I thought maybe I’d be a sparring partner for him. I wasn’t offended by anything that he said. I thought if Colby wants to have a Colby-esque moment and create drama and controversy, then I’ll be a sparring partner with him. I gave it back to him a little bit.”
Covington blasted the interview the day after, calling it a “mockery to the sport” of MMA.
Color commentator Jon Anik also took some shots at Bisping for the interview via social media and even though Anik has since apologized, one thing Bipsing felt was stung by his co-workers comments.
“Those comments stung a little bit,” Bisping said. “If you’ve got a problem, maybe just shoot me a text, maybe give me some advice. Maybe say, ‘Yo Mike, just giving you some advice as a friend. When you’re in that position, try to separate yourself as a fighter.’ Maybe try and guide me along. Don’t say, ‘Hey, I’m hoping this mother(expletive) gets fired. He definitely needs to be reprimanded by FOX, and this is disgraceful and he should be ashamed.’ There’s no beef. I respect Jon greatly. I respect him as a commentator, I respect him as a professional, and as a person. I truly do. I’m just having a bit of fun with it. He said it, he apologized, so whatever. I couldn’t care less. I”m not in the habit of trying to make enemies. I’m trying to make friends and not hold grudges against people for a silly little tweet.”
Bisping is no stranger to controversy, having previously found himself on the bad side of Yoel Romero after ripping a miniature Cuban flag at UFC 213.