(Photo: Jim Edwards)

Michael Bisping Explains Heated Interview with Colby Covington, Responds to Jon Anik

Michael Bisping explained what happened during a heated interview with new UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington as well as his response to Jon Anik's take on the situation

Michael Bisping doesn’t regret his heated interview with Colby Covington after UFC 225 this past weekend but he’s happy to explain what happened.

Not long after Covington won the title with a unanimous decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos in Chicago, he joined the FOX post fight show where he took the panel to task for picking against him in the fight.

Of course, Covington rarely holds his tongue when it comes to any subject or person taking shots at him so he had no problem calling out the analysts for saying that dos Anjos would walk out of UFC 225 as interim champion.

That then led to a back and forth war of words with former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who was part of the panel that night. Covington and Bisping ended up in a shouting match more than an interview as they took shots at one another for several minutes on live television.

Afterwards, Bisping faced criticism for interjecting his personal feelings for Covington during the interview rather than keeping it professional as an analyst asking questions of another UFC fighter.

Earlier this week, Bisping responded by explaining that Covington was combative as soon as the interview began and he was just giving as good as he was getting from the new interim champion.

“Colby Covington he’s Mr. Controversy, every where he goes he tries to create controversy,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast. “For crying out loud, he tweets out spoilers to the new Star Wars movies and things like that. He’s trying to create controversy. So when he came on, the first thing he did was basically ‘f–k you guys up there at the panel, kiss my ass you all picked me to lose’. So I thought here we go, we’ve got Colby Covington in rare form and this is what he likes to do, maybe I’ll be a sparring partner with him. I wasn’t offended by anything that he said.

“Because a lot of so called journalists — and I’ll say f–king so called journalists cause you’re so called journalists because you are so called but you aren’t no journalist in my eyes — but these so called journalists have been criticizing me this morning saying ‘he’s got to know when to hold back and put his analyst hat on’ and all the rest of it. Hold on, let me tell you this right now, I do, do that, I was calm, I was smiling throughout the entire thing. But I thought if Colby wanted to have a Colby-esque moment and create drama and controversy, then I’ll be a sparring partner with him. I gave it back to him a little bit.”

Bisping isn’t the first analyst to get into a heated discussion with a guest and he certainly won’t be the last.

Still, Bisping took a lot of criticism for his remarks including a note from fellow broadcaster Jon Anik, who called the interview ‘disgraceful‘ amidst a series of messages on Twitter when responding to the encounter.

Anik later apologized for his choice of words but Bisping says he doesn’t hold anything against the veteran broadcast for his opinion. Bisping did manage to take a slight shot at Anik for how he responded but ultimately it was just a jab back at a colleague, who he respects immensely.

“We’ve got different styles. Jon wouldn’t have done that and I wouldn’t go to social media to berate a colleague,” Bisping said with a smile. “We’ve all just got different styles. I appreciate he came out and apologized on his Twitter. So hold on, isn’t he doing what he says I just did? He’s doing something he feels the need to apologize for. I was on live TV, back against the wall. I didn’t write it out, read it, study it, think yeah that’s cool, then press tweet. No, I was on live TV and the guy’s insulting me and maybe I’ve got my back against the say and maybe I acted too much. I could have acted a bit cooler but I didn’t have a chance to read it, re-read it, think about it and then press tweet and then apologize. My back was against the wall. Just different styles.

“I’ve got tons of respect for him. Yeah I was a little disappointed when I read that but it’s all good. I love Jon.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.

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