In today's media-driven mixed martial arts world, earning respect is often as difficult as winning a championship.
Fighters tend to speak their minds and create public tidal waves of epic proportions, so it's rare that guys profess their utmost respect and praise for an opponent. That's a problem.
Not respecting another elite athlete can often get you in trouble. Whether it's inside the cage or out of it, saying you don't respect someone is means for a fist in the face.
Fortunately, that's the business we're in and the type of ill-willed banter us journalists make a career out of.
He likes to trash talk and has done a lot of it on Twitter. We've traded insults back and forth in social media, but I don't think there's anything he can say that would have an effect on me. He can make fun of my family. He can make fun of my military service in the Green Berets. I don't really respect the guy, so what's he going to say that's going to hurt my feelings? I'll handle things myself. I kind of take everything he says with a grain of salt. I don't care what he says.
In case you forgot, Kennedy and Bisping are scheduled to shed blood at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale in April. It will be Bisping's first fight in nearly a year.
Just read @TimKennedyMMA blog. Oh my god, there's 5 mins of my life wasted. If you listen to 1 piece of advice today, don't read that shit— michael (@bisping) March 13, 2014
The United States Army sergeant went on to discuss Bisping's tactics in and out of the Octagon:
Is he a jerk because he's a loudmouth who likes to talk a lot? Is he a jerk because of what he did three years ago fighting against a friend of mine? Is it his overall dislikeability? Yes to all of that, but it's how he fights. I think he fights dirty.
In any case, their bad blood and unflappable confidence should translate into one of the best fights of 2014. One that will produce the next top title contender in the UFC middleweight division.
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