Over the last few months, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has generated a bit of controversy by asking for lucrative “money fights” and expressing disinterest in fights with his division’s top contenders. He has recently chased a fight with welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, for example, while simultaneously shrugging off calls for a bout with streaking middleweight contender Yoel Romero.
On Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, the champ explained his desire for money fights to host Ariel Helwani. His words (transcribed by MMAMania.com) :
“I’ll say this with the greatest respect to the company and Dana White. Dana’s always been very fair to me. Dana’s always treated me with respect and this and that. I’ve always been happy with the amount of money I’ve been getting paid. But, now I see we’re in a new age of UFC and I see gigantic paydays going around that I have never been a part of. And I’ve done well, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done very well, but I see a lot of other people making a lot more money. And that does piss me off a little bit. I’m not talking shit about UFC, they’ve always paid me well and I’ve been happy with my pay. I just would like to be a part of one of the gigantic cards before I retire. That’s all, just so I can get a big gigantic payday I can retire on. Could I retire now? No I can’t. UFC has paid me well and I have no qualms. I’ve always signed contracts and at the time I’ve always been happy signing those contracts. But I see Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor getting $3 million guaranteed plus pay-per-view (PPV), so that’s a $10 million payday. I’ve never had a $10 million payday. I’ve never had a $1 million payday. So, yeah, of course, that’s why I want the money fights, who doesn’t? I’ve done this my entire life, dedicated myself to this sport, you have to earn it and I feel like I’ve earned it. I’m the world champion, I want to be a part of the biggest fights. That said, it’s a business, you create your own hype and people tune in.”
Do you think Michael Bisping deserves the kind of payday he’s chasing? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/14/2017.