The last season of The Ultimate Fighter
to air on Spike begins next Wednesday. At least it is likely to leave with a bang. What other way could a show starring Jason "Mayhem" Miller and Michael Bisping
The two are among the most heavily quoted MMA
fighters over the last half-decade, Miller for his biting one-liners and Bisping for his blunt honesty. Both reared their heads on Wednesday, when they shared a teleconference to publicize TUF's Sept. 21 premiere.
Between praise for the season's cast and discussion about their upcoming fight, Miller and Bisping couldn't resist engaging in some verbal sparring.
Their most memorable exchange surprisingly came after a rare compliment. Miller had just finished crediting the UFC
for the decision to install them on as rival coaches, saying it was bound to make for a memorable season and lead to personality clashes.
As if on cue, Bisping seized the moment.
"You're trying to sweeten me up so I don't beat you too badly on Dec. 3," he said.
"Don't get me wrong, I think you're way worse an idiot than I am," Miller said. "And I'm going to smash your face and choke you."
"Nice to see you've been warming up on your sister," Bisping shot back. "I definitely will be practicing guillotine escapes."
"You make sure to practice them," Miller said with a laugh. "Actually, I'll send you her number."
That Bisping would bring up a now-infamous August incident involving Miller
and his sister would not otherwise be surprising, but the timing of it in this particular case was a bit curious.
Literally less than two minutes earlier, Bisping had been comparing his feelings of Miller to those of Jorge Rivera
, saying the latter situation was worse because Rivera had "crossed the line talking about family stuff."
"Jason is not like that, he's just a bit idiotic," Miller said.
Bisping said that the two had hung around each other on a few occasions in the past and that he "thought he was an OK guy," but that his view completely changed within a short time of arriving in Las Vegas. Bisping said Miller "crossed the line" during the season but wouldn't offer any details. Miller said the feeling was mutual.
"My initial belief was to give Mike the benefit of doubt, but he fully proved himself to be a p---- by week 2," he said.
Still, the fighters begrudgingly admitted that they shared some common ground when it came to the opportunity placed in front of them. While Bisping said it frustrated him to be taken out of action for an extended period to tape the series, he acknowledged it is something of a reward to be chosen for the coaching roles.
Miller, though well known due to his Bully Beatdown
show, isn't quite as well known for his fighting exploits, even though he's been around for a decade and competed in several major promotions. For that, Bisping needled Miller.
"It's a big opportunity for Jason," he said. "He went from fighting on the undercard to fighting in the main event against me."
Miller said he was grateful for the opportunity but added, "I cannot do anything other than beat Mike up, so I apologize."
After thanking Bisping again, the Brit responded, "That's quite alright, I'll be sending you on your way back to the undercards real soon."
And so it went.
The two will have at least three months to let their distaste for each other simmer into a boil. But at least to Bisping, the fight has already been decided.
"Between you, me and everyone else on the line, Jason's already admitted that I'm pretty much going to beat him. He said I had better standup, he said I have better cardio. He knows I'm bigger and stronger. These are things he's already admitted to me, so he's already beaten mentally. Dec. 3 is just a formality of showing up and collecting my paycheck."