Michael Bisping thinks the reason Conor McGregor has been so angry on social media lately is because he has been exposed to a lot of negativity online.
That isn’t to excuse McGregor’s behavior but Bisping can at least understand where ‘The Notorious’ is coming from.
The fans might think McGregor is delusional for defending his latest performance against Dustin Poirier but Bisping understands why the Irishman is having such a hard time accepting defeat.
McGregor must, Bisping says, believe that he was going to win the fight if he hadn’t had broken his leg in the first round.
“Fighters, we have to have this self-belief in ourselves that borders on the delusional,” Bisping explained during a recent appearance on The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast. “I guess I had that. I know for a fact when I was fighting, I was always proclaiming I was going to be champ one day. I know not everyone agreed with that, in fact quite the opposite.
“People used to think I was delusional. But you have to have that. You have to have that belief in yourself. If you don’t have that then you’re probably not going to go very far as a fighter.”
“For [Conor], right now, that’s the best way he can deal with losing these fights,” he added. “I’m not making excuses for him, far from it, because I was at the receiving end of some of his bullsh*t recently as well. But I think for him to still believe — and I don’t have a relationship with him, we used to be somewhat friendly, we don’t talk anymore, so I’m not speaking from experience or anything like that, just speaking in general as a fighter — he has to believe in his mind that fight was competitive.
“He has to believe in his mind that he was going to turn it around in the second round if the leg hadn’t got broken. Because if he doesn’t do that, if he accepts ‘I was getting my ass kicked and I probably would have been finished,’ then it’s a chink in the armor. It’s starting to accept that I’m not one of the best in the world.”
Bisping was called ‘delusional’ for believing that he would amount to anything more than a journeyman but the Brit went on to make history by becoming the first (and only) British fighter to win a UFC world title.
Bisping says it’s important that McGregor accepts his TKO defeat to Poirier while at the same time thinking the fight would have gone differently with a few key adjustments.
“Every time I lost a fight, yeah, I would be realistic, but I’d always say ‘well, if I did this differently I know I could beat him’ or ‘this is what went wrong in the training camp, I was over-training, my weight cut went bad,’” Bisping said. “All in all, what are those things? They’re excuses. You make up excuses as to why you should have beat the guy. Right now, Conor’s got the perfect excuse — ‘I broke my leg … I know for a fact in Round 2, I would have come back and beaten him’ — and he’s not only saying that, he believes that. He has to put that narrative out there for the entire world.
“It’s the competitive nature of human beings, certainly of fighters. That’s why it does border on delusional, but I’ve been there myself. You have to have that.”
Bisping isn’t sure what the future holds for McGregor but respects the fact that he wants to come back, avenge his loss to Poirier, and become champ again.
“I will say that I respect the fact that he wants to come back and do that,” Bisping said. “He’s trying to become champion again. He doesn’t have to do that. God knows he’s got tons of money, he could go sit on one of his yachts for the rest of his days. He doesn’t want to do that. That you’ve got to respect.”
McGregor is expected to be out of action until mid-2022 at the earliest. As of writing, he is #9 in the UFC lightweight rankings.