Former UFC champion-turned-color-commentator Michael Bisping was called “biased” by Justin Gaethje after his work on the UFC 286 broadcast this past weekend. And play-by-play mainstay Jon Anik has Bisping’s back.
When speaking at the post-fight press conference, Gaethje took aim at The Englishman’s commentary during the night’s headliner which featured 170-pound champion Leon Edwards defending his belt against Gaethje’s teammate Kamaru Usman via majority decision.
Gaethje stated that he scored the fight for Usman, but also admitted he was biased. Then, “The Highlight” took the opportunity to give his opinion that Bisping had slanted his commentary in favor of his fellow countryman, Edwards. Further, Gaethje insinuated that the judges were biased against Usman too, granting the decision to Edwards because the fight took place at the O2 Arena in London, England.
“I thought [Usman] won the fight, but I’m probably as biased as the judges,” Gaethje said. “Certainly not as biased as Michael Bisping, who should’ve been nowhere near a microphone during that fight.”
“The Highlight” followed up his words by calling Bisping’s work on the desk that night “very unprofessional.”
Anik Said Bisping Has ‘Zero Agenda Nor Any Bias When Calling Fights’
Bisping and Anik, who is the promotion’s lead play-by-play guy, have worked side by side during several UFC events. And after Gaethje made headlines for his comments against Bisping, Anik came to bat for his co-worker.
“Must say in defense of my broadcast partner @bisping, the man has zero agenda nor any bias when calling fights,” Anik tweeted. “Might even have closer personal relationship w/ Kamaru Usman than he does Leon Edwards. He just felt as though Edwards controlled the stand-up, landed more cleanly.”
“The job of MMA commentator is not as hard as that of fighter, judge, or referee, but it’s hard,” Anik continued. “We are judged on every utterance over 8+ hours and certainly there are things we’d love to take back. Someone is usually upset w/ something. Never had a perfect show. Never will.”
Bisping Praised Usman After Gaethje’s Comments, Thanked Anik for His Support
The Count is aware of Gaethje’s comments, and although, at the time of the writing, he has yet to directly respond to The Highlight, Bisping maintained that he had the “utmost admiration and respect for Usman,” and that he will only “call it as [he sees] it.”
“I listened to the commentary during the fight and Gaethje has no basis for his opinion!” A fight fan tweeted to Bisping and Anik. “From before the fight, during the fight he was very non-bias. After you could see he was jubilant and happy as he should be for a fellow Brit! This win was legendary and huge. Bisping was good.”
The tweet then elicited a response from Bisping.
“Thanks Doug,” The Count wrote. “I always only call it as I see it. And you have to celebrate the winner, regardless of who it is. Can’t be sad someone didn’t win. Winner in all cases must be celebrated. And I have huge admiration and respect for Usman as a fighter and person. A true gentleman.”
Bisping also replied to Anik’s tweets, writing: “Thank you @Jon_Anik appreciate you greatly.”