Michael Bisping used to work in factories and slaughterhouses. He’s worked as an upholsterer, postman, tiler, plasterer, and salesman. He slept in his car for a while. Now he is the middleweight champion of the world, holds the league record for most wins, and has a major role in the new Lionsgate release My Name is Lenny.
“I have to pinch myself as I’m just an average lad from Clitheroe and it’s crazy,” said Bisping. “It shows what hard work, dedication, and vision does. I always had vision and ambition. I could always fight and I dedicated my life to martial arts as a kid and I guess I always had a good brain on my shoulders which has helped. You’ve got to be smart and tactical and that’s what I’ve done. I work hard and apply myself to everything I do. I’m very humble and never forget who I am and where I’ve come from. It can all be taken away in a heartbeat and that’s what keeps me working so hard. I’m a tireless worker from a working-class background. I’ve done every dead end, s*** job under the sun and I’m very grateful for the position I’m in now.”
Bisping is recovering from knee surgery, so the UFC is holding an Interim title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker.
“I think Whittaker will pull it off,” said Bisping. “I know everyone hypes about Romero but he’s a juicehead. He tested positive not too long ago so I’d assume he’s not on anything now as he doesn’t want to get suspended again so the more time that passes, the advantages of those steroids will wear off. Whittaker is young, he’s got good footwork and boxing and I think he knocks him out in Round 4 or 5.
“It doesn’t mean anything; interim belts aren’t worth the leather they’re printed on. An interim belt is a joke, I defended the belt in October and I’ve had a bit of a knee issue, but it’s the UFC’s decision and if they want to do that, then good for them! All it does is solidify who the number one contender is. They’ve got to sell pay-per-views. Dana asked me to fight in July, which I said I couldn’t as I’d had two knee surgeries at the start of the year and the recovery time hasn’t gone to plan. It’s taking longer than expected so he asked did I mind an interim title fight so I said do what you’ve got to do. It doesn’t bother me.”
Bisping is smart and knows a simple truth that many champions ignore to their great peril.
“You can’t fight forever,” he said. “So the last five or six years I’ve slowly been growing my presence outside of the Octagon, so when the time comes to give up fighting, I’m set for the future. Of course, I’m the champion right now and that’s great but you’ve got to be realistic, it isn’t going to last forever. I did my first movie in 2009 and truly enjoyed the process and have been chipping away at it ever since, it’s going well! But it’s like anything, you’ve got to work at it. I’ve had acting classes; I’ve got a great acting coach and you’ve got to learn and study. I’ve got a great team around me now and things are going very well. We’re making ground and xXx was huge for us. We’ve got My Name is Lenny coming out now, I’ve done another film called Triple Threat, which we filmed in Thailand. We did Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler, a TV show called Dark Matter as well as Twin Peaks. So far so good… my agent is killing it, God bless him!”
And no more Alligator emojis!
“Oh my god! Every time I posted on Instagram, even if it was just my kids you’d see thousands of f***ing alligators,” he said. “So when Whittaker knocked him out I thought thank God I don’t have to deal with those anymore.”