Middleweight champion Michael Bisping apologises for use of gay slur in post-fight clash 4 years ago

Middleweight champion Michael Bisping apologises for use of gay slur in post-fight clash

Michael Bisping knew straight away that he had made an error in judgement.

Moments after 'The Count' claimed middleweight glory by knocking out Luke Rockhold in the first round of the UFC 199 main event, the pair had to be held apart at the post-fight press conference.

The clash apparently stemmed from Rockhold's refusal to shake Bisping's hand as the presser came to a close and a fiery exchange of words followed in front of a group of reporters.

As Bisping stepped away, he could be heard angrily calling his opponent a "faggot" before immediately recognising his mistake by saying "shit, I shouldn't have said that."

'The Count' was asked about the term, often used as a homophobic slur, during an interview with ESPN and he explained that he didn't mean it in that way but more as a synonym for "wimp."

"I'm hesitant to make a statement, because it kind of throws fuel on the fire, but the fact of the matter is that's not a word that is generally in my vocabulary," Bisping said.

"Growing up in northern England, that's a word used a lot and it wasn't a homophobic slur. It was more when you refer to somebody as a wimp, that type of thing. That was how we used the word.

UFC 199: Rockhold v Bisping 2

"Now, of course, I'm a grown man and I realise the negative connotations and associations that word has and it's a word I don't use. But Luke and I were in a heated argument and I kind of went back to the memory bank of an insult I used when I was at school and it just came out.

"As soon as I said it, I said, 'Oh shit, what on earth did I say that for?' I'm not homophobic in the slightest. I have lots of gay friends and associates. If I did cause any offence to anybody, I profusely apologise because that's not me."

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