Michael Bisping's Post-Fight Antics Were a Blessing in Disguise for the UFC

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2011

Whether UFC fans appeal to UFC middleweight Michael Bisping or not, one could argue he has become a polarizing figure in UFC. Let's face it, the UFC middleweight division has been lacking star power lately, aside from middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, and there isn't many fighters to market to casual fans. 

Enter Michael Bisping. 

His genuine hatred for his opponent, Jorge Rivera, will have some critics turn their heads away and not accept mixed martial arts as a legitimate sport. Others will anticipate the foul-mouthed Englishman to be knocked out in his next encounter.

In his bout with Rivera this past weekend, Bisping landed an illegal knee while Rivera was down on the ground. Bisping continued to mouth off to Rivera's cornermen after he was instructed by the referee to return to his corner. He raised his middle finger to them in the process. When Bisping finished Rivera shortly after, he walked towards his opponent's cornermen and spat at them.

According to UFC President Dana White, Bisping will be punished for his actions at UFC 127. It is doubtful the punishment will be as severe as some fans think, because Bisping is one of the more popular fighters in the middleweight division. Also, his antics could likely earn him more marketability. Considering UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen is suspended indefinitely due to legal problems, Bisping's stock will likely rise which will make him become the most hated fighter in the middleweight division.  

Looking at the lack of personality Anderson Silva carries and the lack of depth in the middleweight division, Bisping's bad boy image could make the division more appealing to watch. 

He certainly does not hold the drawing power of Brock Lesnar, but Bisping's unprofessional tactics at UFC 127 might just be exactly what he needs to get over with UFC fans. For once, he can be seen as something more than just a boring or overrated fighter.