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Michael Bisping cautions celebrity fighters to show more respect and praise to UFC star Chimaev

Few have traveled the precarious path to a UFC title with the same bloodthirsty toughness as Michael Bisping.

Still the only champion of Great Britain in the history of the promotion, the body of the former retired middleweight feels the effects of a career loaded with triumphs and hard blows.

So when you see the rise in celebrity fights and the blurry line between social media artists and athletes, you fear some are risking life and limb for quick money.

Michael Bisping's body received a hammer blow during a captivating race to the top

Michael Bisping’s body received a hammer blow during a captivating race to the top

Bisping's career took its toll on his body and he warns those who are not fully committed to combat sports that there can be tough consequences.

Bisping's career took its toll on his body and he warns those who are not fully committed to combat sports that there can be tough consequences.

Bisping’s career took its toll on his body and he warns those who are not fully committed to combat sports that there can be tough consequences.

“I’m talking to you with an eyeball, no knees, half a neck, half a brain,” Bisping told Sportsmail.

“It is a difficult road and some do not give it the respect it deserves.”

“ There are many different ways of looking at it, I suppose it attracts the attention of a younger audience, but I have mixed feelings about it. The Jake Paul and Woodley thing, God bless them, they made some money, it wasn’t the best fight, but people enjoyed it.

‘Young people might think they enjoyed it and start to see more, maybe UFC stuff. I think more exposure is good. ‘

The influencer boxing boom has been led by Jake and Logan Paul, who have capitalized on their popularity and strong rookie boxing skills to make huge amounts of cash in the ring.

But the siblings are by no means alone and several TikTok stars are also joining the party.

And despite the potential for a younger crowd to have more eyes on combat sports, Bisping is issuing words of caution for those who are steeped in the current trend.

“ My problem with this is that these days you see a lot of people involved in fights, all the men and their dogs put on gloves and get into a ring.

‘Strong men vs arm wrestlers, TikTokers, people who have nothing to do with being in a ring, walking into them because they see the glitz and glamor, on TV making money. You can get hurt there. ‘

Bisping suffered irreparable eye damage after receiving a kick to the head against Vitor Belfort in 2013. He concealed the true extent of the damage until he retired, making it even more remarkable that he managed to win the title three years later against Luke Rockhold.

Those crossover fights are a far cry from the true high-end MMA business in which Bisping, who now works as an expert for BT Sport and the UFC, spent an embedded career.

Bisping now works as an announcer for the UFC and is working on event 268 this weekend.

Bisping now works as an announcer for the UFC and is working on event 268 this weekend.

Bisping now works as an announcer for the UFC and is working on event 268 this weekend.

Jake Paul (left) and his brother Logan have ushered in the rise of less experienced social media personalities turning to combat sports as a way to make a quick buck.

Jake Paul (left) and his brother Logan have ushered in the rise of less experienced social media personalities turning to combat sports as a way to make a quick buck.

Jake Paul (left) and his brother Logan have ushered in the rise of less experienced social media personalities turning to combat sports as a way to make a quick buck.

Having had time to digest the chaos of UFC 267 this past weekend, the fan favorite is still reeling from Khamzat Chimaev’s performance.

The Dagestan returned from a fight that could end his long Covid career to regain all the momentum he built up last year.

‘Number one, it was beautiful to see Teixeira, 42, finally get the gold, that’s great God bless him. But he’s overshadowed by fucking Khamzat Chimaev, that guy is amazing, ‘says Bisping.

‘I wasn’t completely on the hype train, but going out against Jingliang, lifting him up in the air, having a conversation with Dana and then beating him up and subduing him, unbelievable.

And then he’s calling Diaz, calling Masvidal. That guy, he’s a big star. ‘

Khamzat Chimaev banished his poor health from Covid to deliver a spectacular performance

Khamzat Chimaev banished his poor health from Covid to deliver a spectacular performance

Khamzat Chimaev banished his poor health from Covid to deliver a spectacular performance

Three Russians in Petr Yan, Chimaev and Islam Makhachev gave excellent performances and while that part of the world continues to produce top talent, Bisping has never been more excited by the number of British stars arriving.

“British MMA is in a very good position, of course the Russians, Dagestanis, are taking control, let’s be honest, but I think we are in a strong place,” he added.

‘I think Tom Aspinall is going to be a heavyweight champion, Arnold Allen is waiting behind the scenes and then Leon Edwards is there, if he beats Masvidal he should have a chance.

Mason Jones is someone to watch out for, I’m telling you. There are many others that I have not mentioned. Right now, British MMA is in the strongest place it has ever been. ”

Kamaru Usman struck back at Conor McGregor

Kamaru Usman struck back at Conor McGregor

Kamaru Usman returns to action this weekend to defend his welterweight title

All of those fighters are desperate to follow in Bisping’s footsteps, but for now theirs, and everyone’s attention is focused on UFC 268 this weekend.

Kamaru Usman faces Colby Covington in a highly anticipated rematch for the welterweight title, while Rose Namajunas defends her crown against Zhang Weili in the co-main event.

As if those card caps weren’t enough, Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje go head-to-head and may claim another shot at the lightweight title.

Madison Square Garden is the host and luckily there won’t be a Tiktoker, arm wrestler, or strongman in sight.

Watch UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2 exclusively live on BT Sport 1 starting at 2am on Saturday, November 6. For more information visit www.bt.com/sport/ufc

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