Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has recalled an altercation that threatened to turn physical during a recent trip to Bulgaria.
Bisping held the 185-pound gold on MMA’s biggest stage after dethroning Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in 2016, delivering what is still widely considered one of the biggest upsets and most memorable title crownings in UFC history.
Since losing the belt to Georges St-Pierre and retiring following a knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum, “The Count” has remained in the mixed martial arts and UFC space by becoming a frequent member at the commentary desk. While primarily calling Fight Nights, the Englishman has been on the mic for a few pay-per-views in 2021.
Recently, Bisping took time out of his busy schedule, which includes analysis videos and a podcast on YouTube, to visit Bulgaria.
Since hanging up his gloves, Bisping hasn’t lost his commitment to fitness, and can often be seen hitting a punching bag and working out in social media clips. That trend hasn’t dipped, even during his holiday.
Unfortunately, the Bulgarian gyms nearly gave him a whole lot more than he’d bargained for…
Bisping: “I Almost Got Assaulted & Beaten Up”
During a recent episode of his Believe You Me podcast, Bisping recalled nearly getting “beaten up” whilst lifting weights during his visit to the Balkan nation.
While working with dumbbells, the Brit was approached by a couple of locals, both of whom asked to use the equipment that Bisping was with. After turning down their requests, apparent backup arrived in the form of some “big juiceheads.”
“I almost got assaulted and beaten up in a Bulgarian gym,” Bisping said whilst laughing. “I’m lifting weights, I’m on a bench. The whole row of dumbbells in front of me, they’re not being used. Two guys come over, one of them says, ‘Can I use your weights.’ I’m like, ‘No, sorry I’m using these.’ All the other weights are there… ‘You want these ones? There’s loads of others! Sorry if it’s not the optimum ones you want, but I’m using these.’
“Then his buddy goes, ‘I wanna use your bench.’ I said, ‘Five minutes.’ Then two of the mates show up, big juiceheads covered in tattoos and whatnot,” Bisping continued. “Chatting away in Bulgarian. I knew they were talkin’ about me… (I was) trying to be careful so I don’t get dumbbelled in the back of my head.”
After a move across the gym saw him followed by the group, Bisping decided to cut his losses. While perhaps not one to run from a fight before his MMA career and throughout, “The Count” was wise enough to acknowledge his chances against the local gym-goers.
“I think, ‘F*ck it, I’ll go over to a different part of the gym.’ And then they come over and follow me over there straight away, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, for f*ck’s sake.’ So, I’m turning into a proper b*tch in my old age. I’m getting abused by (Conor) McGregor, and then running away from gyms!” Bisping added
This certainly isn’t the first incident in recent times that has seen Bisping have an altercation away from the sport. Last summer, the Englishman claimed to have been assaulted in New Orleans. In a tweet, he alleged that an individual confronted him for filming before punching him.
Thankfully for the alleged attacker, the former UFC middleweight champion showed restraint. Whether the same can be said for the multiple “juiceheads” who appeared to be after a fight in Bulgaria is debatable…
This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.