St-Pierre and UFC middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping held a dual press conference this past weekend in Las Vegas to promote their upcoming fight, and after showing up late to the proceedings, Bisping dove right into trash talk mode by hurling a nonstop barrage of insults and threats towards St-Pierre. Afterward, even St-Pierre had to admit, the approach surprised the normally even-keeled Canadian.
“He caught me off-guard a little bit. I didn’t see him coming,” St-Pierre said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I thought he would be absent from that press conference when it first started and he wasn’t there. And he started yelling at me. You know, there are a lot of guys who are very good trash talkers in this game. Conor McGregor is one, Chael Sonnen is one, he’s an expert. And I always feel like I cannot get into a war of words with these guys, because first, English is not my first language, and I’m just not good at trash talking. I do my talking in the fight. I’m not a good talker, I’m a good fighter.
“But what I can say is this: I do not believe Michael Bisping is a good trash talker. I believe the best thing he did for me was to talk, because he embarrassed himself every time he opened his mouth. So he did the job for me. I didn’t even have to say anything.”
The fact that tensions were so immediately high for Bisping was somewhat unexpected considering that he and St-Pierre have been angling for a fight against one another since the brash Brit captured the UFC middleweight title with a first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold in June 2016.
At the press conference, Bisping accused St-Pierre of choosing him as a comeback opponent simply because he believed Bisping was an easy fight, while St-Pierre continually questioned whether the raspy-voiced Bisping was still roaring drunk after a long night in Las Vegas. St-Pierre said Bisping even smelled like alcohol for the post-presser staredown, during which the two UFC luminaries traded their fair share of unpleasantries.
“Some stupid stuff, nonsense, like ‘you’re small, I’m going to beat you,’” St-Pierre recalled. “And I said something like, ‘yeah, you might be tall, but you’re going to fall from high.’ B.S. stuff. I’m just not good at talking. I pick my fights carefully because it’s not my thing, it’s not my first language, and if I get into a war of words, it’s not my thing. But he’s not a good trash talker. He’s terrible at it. The more he talks, the more he embarrasses himself and the more he looks bad.
“I think he has a complex, because people doubted him for all his life,” St-Pierre added. “I think he has a mental complex. That’s why he’s thinking like that. But anyway, it doesn’t matter, because when I’m going to fight him, he’s going to see the difference in levels between he and I. You’re going to see the difference.”
For most of his UFC career, Bisping was considered to be one of the best UFC fighters to never get a chance at the belt — a far cry from St-Pierre, the record-breaking two-time UFC welterweight champion who is widely considered to be the greatest 170-pounder to ever compete in the sport. But that narrative changed for Bisping when he knocked out Rockhold, and even though St-Pierre is now directly in Bisping’s crosshairs, “Rush” appreciates the legacy-changing chapter Bisping that was able to pen in 2016.
“It was very inspirational for me,” St-Pierre said. “Michael Bisping has been very outspoken [against] performing enhancing drugs, like I am. Most of his losses come from guys who have been taking performance enhancing drugs. And also, he’s the kind of fighter, he’s very inspiring because he’s a very hard worker. He’s not the kind of fighter who only relies on his natural gifts or his natural talents and his elegance. Because those fighters, sometimes when they crack, they crack and never come back the same. Michael has been brought down before in the past, many times, and every time he stood up and came back stronger every time.
“So, these kinds of fighters are the worst nightmare guys that you can fight. As inspiring as it is for me to fight him, and I’m glad because he’s going to make good money and I think Michael deserves, and I deserve it, I think it’s a very, very — it’s the most dangerous fight that I’ve taken in my entire career.”
That being said, St-Pierre still plans to do what he needs to do against Bisping, even if it ends the Brit’s fairy tale run.
While the UFC has yet to put a date to the fight, St-Pierre expects to meet Bisping sometime after this summer. And he knows Friday’s press conference was only the beginning of what will probably be a long promotional campaign for a man who doesn’t enjoy the drama of fighting a trash-talker.
“I don’t understand how come he’s such a very angry person,” St-Pierre said of Bisping. “For a man who has the opportunity, and has everything he has in life, he should be happy. And he should enjoy it, the time [while it] lasts, because when I’m going to step in the cage with him, he’s going to lose everything, unfortunately for him.”