SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Michael Bisping (L) of England and Jorge Rivera (R) of the USA pose up during a Press Conference ahead of UFC 127 at Star City on February 23 2011 in Sydney Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
I've had enough of Michael Bisping.
This could just be me, but Bisping is everything I despise in a human being all wrapped up in one package. He repeatedly throws around homophobic slurs like a high schooler, he cheats and he apparently lacks any traits to be the bigger and better man.
This is just a personal difference, though. In the grand scheme of things, my opinion of Bisping should mean absolutely nothing to him. How long will it be, though, until Bisping's behavior costs the UFC? In the long-run, if the UFC continues to allow his behavior go unchecked, it could lead to a bigger backlash in the future.
Bisping is a habitual line-stepper (and not in the romanticized ways of Rick James, either). Bisping is on a real slippery slope here in regard to his behavior because each new instance seems worse than the last. He has multiple instances of using the word "faggot" in public forum, once at the UFC 114 post-fight press conference and again at the UFC 127 weigh-in, where he called Rivera a "faggot motherf-----" in a heated exchange during the pose-off.
During the fight, he illegally kneed Rivera in the head, completely changing the course of the fight (these things happen, though) but the real coup de grace here was after the fight. First, after stopping Rivera with punches in the second round, Bisping clearly spit at Rivera's corner through the cage. Then he went toward Rivera in a non-threatening manner only to tell him "Go home, loser." I don't have a problem with Bisping telling Rivera that. It's unsportsmanlike, yes, but ultimately the actual statement is nothing to get too worked up over. It's how he did it that irks me. He ambushed Rivera with it, plain and simple. He came over looking like he was playing nice and then started it all over again. Imagine if Bisping had pulled this stuff after beating a Diaz brother. It would be a full-scale riot the likes the UFC has never seen, I'm sure. This whole display was sickening to watch. Everything surrounding Bisping with respect to the before, during and after of this fight was total bush league.
It might be easier to deal with if maybe just one of these things happened. You could write it off and say it was an isolated incident. It's not, though. This is becoming a pattern, and a rather troubling one at that. It's clear Bisping lacks sound judgment skills in the heat of the moment, if not beyond.
The UFC is lucky Bisping using the word "faggot" has not come back to bite them yet (especially considering they published the video with him using it the second time, which might be even more mind-boggling to me than Bisping's use of the word). What's more troubling is that almost nobody seems to care. This is a big deal.
Actions like this (and the lack of public reprimand) are why the UFC still has a long way to go if it wants to be considered one of the world's big boys in sports. Can you even imagine NFL commissioner Roger Goddell taking the same actions as Dana White has in regards to Bisping? White's laissez-faire approach is the wrong one. Goodell gets some flack sometimes, but above all else, you know he's trying to clean up the NFL. If Bisping was in the NFL and pulling this stuff, Goddell would bring down the hammer on him. He's not, though, and it seems the UFC isn't even giving him a slap on the wrist.
As I wrote back in May when Bisping used the word "faggot" then:
(It's) not that other sports don't do this. It's that they simply are not tolerated when they do happen. It's that actions like Bisping's are condoned and almost encouraged by many people in the room laughing (including people who should know better), the president almost jokingly apologizing for the comment and Bisping not being reprimanded or called out by anybody for the comment.
Bisping's behavior is disgusting on all levels and needs to be addressed by the UFC before it potentially blows up in their face. Michael Bisping is a professional athlete. It's about time he starts acting like it.