Michael Bisping reponds to Justin Gaethje’s accusation of bias commentary: ‘Justin’s just being a loyal friend’



Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping | Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Michael Bisping is taking the high road.

Following his win over Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286, Justin Gaethje called out Michael Bisping for what his commentary, not on his own fight but on the main event, where Gaethje’s teammate Kamaru Usman came up short against welterweight champion Leon Edwards. As both Bisping and Edwards are English, the implication seems to be that Bisping their shared nationality led to Bisping being “unprofessional” in the booth. Bisping’s co-commentator on Saturday, Jon Anik, quickly came out to defend the UFC Hall of Famer saying he did not believe Bisping had any bias towards Edwards, and now Bisping has done the same.

Speaking on his YouTube channel on Tuesday, Bisping revealed that he reached out to Gaethje directly following the comments, and repudiated the allegations, saying he thinks Gaethje’s own biases towards his teammate led him to feel this way.

“I respect Justin. I’m not going to get into an argument with him online,” Bisping said. “I did shoot him a message directly and said, ‘What the hell, man. You’re out of line.’ He said, ‘LOL,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, LOL indeed. Congrats on the great win.’ Because it was a great win.

“I understand that he’s annoyed, and to be honest, I actually respect that. Justin Gaethje is a tremendous fighter. I would never, ever, sit here and talk bad about his fighting style, disrespect him. I wouldn’t do that. I have too much respect for anyone that sets foot in the octagon. Kamaru Usman is his primary training partner, they’re both taught by Trevor Wittman, he’s their head coach, they train together, they flew out together, they were living in an Airbnb together, of course he wants Kamaru to win. That’s his teammate, that’s his brother in arms. Of course he does. But he didn’t win. He got beat. It was a close fight. I’m not ripping on Kamaru. It was a very close fight, but Leon clearly won, in my opinion, and the judges echoed that sentiment. And I think generally, universally, everybody agrees. I haven’t seen any outcry of robbery or anything like that.”

Aside from Gaethje’s statements, there have not been many debating the decision on Saturday as a majority of media outlets and a large number of fighters all felt that Edwards did enough to retain his title. Bisping went on to say that he doesn’t blame Gaejthe for feeling like this, noting that it’s simply human nature. Bisping does, however, stick to what he said on Saturday night, that Leon Edwards deserved to win the fight.

“Justin’s just being a loyal friend and a loyal teammate,” Bisping said. “When he’s watching that fight, when you’re watching a fight and you want your friend, your teammate to win, the good stuff that they do, in your mind that is emphasized, it is amplified, it is a bigger deal than what it is. And the stuff that the opponent does to your friend, in your mind, you dismiss it. ‘Ah, that was nothing, that was nothing. Oh look at that, he got a takedown! He got a takedown!’ But Leon gets back up, ‘Yeah but he got a takedown. He got him down for a bit, he gets credit for that.’ It’s just the human mind. It’s how we work…

“Justin firmly believes in his head that Kamaru won that fight, and because I said on the microphone afterwards, ‘Well, Leon clearly won that fight,’ which I thought that he did in a close fight — all the rounds were close. Leon didn’t smoke him in any of the rounds. But I think Kamaru might have had one or two rounds. Maybe one, maybe two, I’m not sure. I’d have to watch it back again. I haven’t had time…

“Leon won the fight, but all rounds were close and Justin’s just being a good teammate.”

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