For the past few years in the world of MMA heroes and villains, Michael Bisping has almost always been rated as public enemy No. 1.
The brash Brit never holds his tongue, doesn’t mind speaking out about any subject, and has no problem dropping a few expletives for an opponent or anyone really when the mood strikes him.
But something strange happened to Michael Bisping on his way to the stage for the UFC 152 weigh-ins on Friday – he received a loud ovation from the Toronto crowd and most of the noise came from cheers, not jeers.
Bisping has routinely soaked in the boos from fans in the past, and has even admittedly reveled in the moment when he gets to play the bad guy. Over the past few months however it appears Bisping might be turning a corner with the fans, who are starting to enjoy his personal brand of delivering pre-fight hype and exciting fights in the cage.
“It does seem that way a little bit. Certainly on my Twitter account everyday I get a lot of tweets saying ‘I used to absolutely hate you but now I kind of like you’ so that’s nice,” Bisping said after his win over Brian Stann at UFC 152.
Since debuting in the UFC in 2006, Bisping is the first to point out he’s done and said some dumb things, but as he grows older both in life and in the fight game, he’s always evolving and learning.
Now at 33-years of age, Bisping is a wiser and more accomplished fighter and understands a bit more now how things work with fans.
“I’ve been here a long time now and have I done things I regret over the years? Of course I have. I’ve grown up, I’ve said things, I’ve said stupid things, I’ve done stupid things. I’m 33 now, I’ve got three kids, I’ve grown up a bit. I’ve acted like an (expletive) at times, of course we all make mistakes,” said Bisping.
Now just because Bisping has grown up a little doesn’t mean he’s going to change who he is or how he behaves. He’s just learned a few lessons from past experiences, but Michael Bisping is always going to be Michael Bisping – it’s just now the fans can appreciate that a bit more than before.
“I’m still me, I’m still doing exactly what I do, I haven’t really changed,” Bisping stated. “I like it though, it’s nice.”