CHICAGO — With a few days to reflect on it, UFC President Dana White remains baffled by how easily Michael Bisping beat Jason “Mayhem” Miller at Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter Finale.
“I still don’t know,” White said of Miller’s performance. “It was bad. To be honest, believe me, my Twitter has been blowing up with all the Mayhem fans blasting me, but facts are facts. It was the worst standup I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen worse standup. The guy’s been in the business for over 10 years. It looked like it was his first fight ever. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”
White said Miller’s issues in his third-round technical knockout loss go beyond ring rust or nerves and seem much more fundamental.
“Some of the punches that were thrown by Mayhem Miller in this fight, you could go to a girls’ Tae Bo class and see better form, better stand-up. It was embarrassing,” White said.
Miller was the fan favorite against Bisping, who has long been promoted by the UFC as a valuable fighter for the U.K. market but hasn’t caught on with American fans. White said he’s become accustomed to fans booing Bisping, but he maintains that Bisping has proven himself as an elite middleweight and a legitimate future title contender.
“Michael Bisping is easy to hate so people want to discredit him because they don’t like him, but Bisping is the real deal. He’s a tough guy,” White said.
White has resigned himself, however, to the fact that Bisping will never be as popular in the United States as he is in England. And he says he’s not bothered by the fact that Bisping got confrontational with the fans who booed him at the Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins.
“Bisping is who he is,” White said. “There are certain people, there’s something about them that you’re not going to like. Michael Bisping is one of them and so is Josh Koscheck. These guys could try to go out there, make everything better, say nice things, and you’re still not going to like them.”
As for the weigh-in incident, White said fans have to expect fighters to react that way when they’re taunted the day before the fight.
“The day of the weigh-ins, these guys have been away from their families for eight weeks, they’re cutting weight for the last two days, they’re miserable and nasty, and if you say something to him, he’s a fighter, what do you think he’s going to say?” White said. “This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t the NBA, this is the fight business.”