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Michael Bisping explains heated FS1 interview with 'Mr. Controversy' Colby Covington, responds to Jon Anik

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Michael Bisping may be retired from MMA competition, but the former UFC middleweight champion is still finding ways to make headlines in the sport.

Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) became a noteworthy part of the fallout of this past weekend’s UFC 225 event in Chicago, particularly due to his post-fight interview with new interim UFC welterweight titleholder Colby Covington.

After Covington (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) claimed the interim strap with a unanimous-decision win over Rafael dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) in UFC 225’s pay-per-view coheadliner, he did his post-fight media rounds. One of those obligations included a live interview on FS1, where Bisping was serving as an analyst and host of the post-event show. It didn’t take long for things to pop off; “The Count” and “Chaos” immediately got heated.

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“He came right hot out of the gate,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast with co-host Luis J. Gomez. “I get it, the guy’s charged, and he’s kind of made a career out of being controversial and whatnot. Maybe if I could do it again, I’d calm down. I’d bring it down just a notch, but the first thing he said was, ‘Hey, I’ve got all my haters in one spot. Blah, blah, blah.’ So I said, ‘Hold on a minute. Just listen. We actually gave you a lot of compliments.'”

It’s clear Covington wasn’t happy with the tone fellow longtime trash-talker Bisping used to interview him, and he made that obvious in his responses.

Days after UFC 225, Covington spoke with MMAjunkie Radio and called Bisping’s actions a “mockery to the sport” (watch it above). Bisping, however, didn’t see it that way, nor did he take the situation personally.

“Colby Covington, he’s Mr. Controversy,” Bisping said. “Everywhere he goes he tries to create controversy. For crying out loud, he tweets out spoilers to the new ‘Star Wars’ movies and things like that. So when he came on, the first thing he did was, ‘(Expletive) you guys up there on the panel. Kiss my ass. You all picked me to lose.’ So, I thought, ‘OK, here we go. We’ve got Colby Covington in rare form. This is what he likes to do.’ So I thought maybe I’d be a sparring partner for him.

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“I wasn’t offended by anything that he said. I thought if Colby wants 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.”

Although Bisping brushed off Covington’s criticism, he couldn’t as easily dismiss some heat that came his direction from UFC commentator Jon Anik, who initially called Bisping’s approach to the interview “disgraceful” (via Twitter):

Was disgraceful. It’s Colby’s night and moment. Pretty stunning that they’d allow an analyst to steal his shine.

— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) June 10, 2018

Anik, who has worked with Bisping on FOX Sports broadcasts in the past, said the former titleholder way out of line with his approach, and he made his criticism public. Anik walked back his comments (via Instagram) the following day, though, and said that he was in fact the one out of line by offering such a harsh public critique about a colleague.

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Bisping said he took Anik’s criticism a little more to heart, but he’s ultimately able to move on.

“Those comments stung a little bit,” Bisping said. “If you’ve got a problem, maybe just shoot me a text, maybe give me some advice. Maybe say, ‘Yo Mike, just giving you some advice as a friend. When you’re in that position, try to separate yourself as a fighter.’

“Maybe try and guide me along. Don’t say, ‘Hey, I’m hoping this mother(expletive) gets fired. He definitely needs to be reprimanded by FOX, and this is disgraceful and he should be ashamed.’

“There’s no beef. I respect Jon greatly. I respect him as a commentator, I respect him as a professional, and as a person. I truly do. I’m just having a bit of fun with it. He said it, he apologized, so whatever. I couldn’t care less. I”m not in the habit of trying to make enemies. I’m trying to make friends and not hold grudges against people for a silly little tweet.”

For more on UFC 225, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225: Best photos

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