UFC fighter Justin Gaethje clarifies he did not intend to criticize commentator Michael Bisping, despite not considering him a favorite

Justin Gaethje, a former interim UFC lightweight champion, understands that fighters often experience heightened emotions following fights. He wishes that fighters were not judged based on comments made in the immediate aftermath – comments such as those he made regarding Michael Bisping’s commentary during the UFC 286 fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.

During the post-fight press conference, Gaethje called Bisping “unprofessional” for the way the UFC Hall of Famer called the main event, though he recognized he was biased since his teammate Usman lost by majority decision. Bisping did not take offence to the allegations and understood that Gaethje was standing up for his friend.

Gaethje admits that he was caught up in the moment, which led to his verbal attack on Bisping. “We’re so emotional, and yes, seeing my teammate lose made me more emotional” he said. As a result, he felt Bisping overemphasized Edwards more than Usman because of their English roots.

However, he also acknowledged that his biased attitude towards the fight was another factor that triggered him. Gayethje conceded that Bisping was right in his assessment, and he was probably excessively emotional.

Immediately after his co-main event unanimous decision victory over Rafael Fiziev, Gaethje watched the main event, Edwards vs. Usman 3, from the backroom. Thus, his adrenaline levels were high when he watched Usman step into the cage for the fight.

Gaethje felt that Bisping’s commentary was unfair to Usman, but he believes this was because they were from the same place, which was all he wanted to express. Gaethje did not intend to question Bisping’s credentials as a commentator.

Gaethje admitted that he has kept a grudge against Bisping since he joined the promotion. Although he has no animosity towards Bisping, he remembers the latter talking about him negatively when he first arrived to fight Michael Johnson. Credibly, Gaethje admires the UFC’s play-by-play man since 2016 – Jon Anik – because he believes that his passion and unmatched.

In the past, commentators like Bisping who now work with the UFC’s broadcasting team have been criticized for comments made during events. There is always the possibility of biases that may swing in favor of another fighter.


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