By now, it’s very well known that middleweight contender Michael “The Count” Bisping is extremely outspoken, and that the polarizing Brit will usually say whatever he pleases. However, Bisping has received some heat for some of his comments on FOX Sports yesterday (August 23, 2014) during UFC Fight Night 74.
After preliminary fighter Frankie Perez retired at age 26 after a knockout win, Bisping controversially stated that Perez may not have the “cajones” to be in the fight game.
However, speaking on the MMA Hour today (August 24, 2015) “The Count” said that he was very misunderstood. He did say that not everyone is made out for the fight game, but he also said that he respects Perez for pursuing what he wants:
“100 percent they misunderstand me. Listen, I respect everybody that steps into the Octagon because it’s such a hard thing to do for a living. And the world is made up of many different types of people. Not everybody has what it takes to be a UFC fighter. That’s just a fact. If he doesn’t want to do that and he wants to pursue another career, then great for him and I really respect his choice to do so. Of course, that is his decision.”
Perez stated that he didn’t want to put his body or his family through fighting anymore, and that seems to be where he and Bisping drift apart. “The Count” stated that fighting is the best thing that he can do to provide for his family.
Bisping also confirmed that it wasn’t meant to be an insult, and that he wishes Perez the best in the future:
“My opinion, being a fighter and a competitor, for me, that’s the best living I can give my family. That’s the way it is. For me, I am willing to put myself through that for my family. This is my best opportunity. He got a $50,000 bonus last night on top of his wages. He probably got $70,000. I don’t know where else he is going to earn that kind of money in one night. It wasn’t an insult. I don’t necessarily agree, but good for him, I’m sure he has a great head on his shoulders and maybe he’s got an illustrious career in something else away from fighting. I wish I had that. And if he has it, God bless him and all the best. I certainly didn’t mean to be insulting.”
At the end of the day, Bisping said that many don’t get the opportunity to fight, and that Perez had a great performance, making the situation just seem a bit “weird” to “The Count”:
“I wish I had that. And if he has it, God bless him and all the best. I certainly didn’t mean to be insulting. In my mind set, as a competitor, this is the best way I can provide for my family. And to be honest, not many people have this opportunity. He has that opportunity in front of him. He has a beautiful performance, knockout of the night bonus and he’s walking away. To me it just seemed a little weird. But good for him, God bless him.”
Whether he was misunderstood or not, Bisping’s comments didn’t seem to phase Perez, who spoke up with MMAJunkie. Perez called Bisping a clown, once again saying that his decision is based solely on his family:
“Bisping’s a clown, so it ain’t no big deal; words don’t get to me,” Perez said. “You know what it is? I’m just choosing my family over this sport. I love this sport and love everything about it. But it was just time. That’s it. I’m still going to be around, cornering guys. That’s it.”