Michael Bisping on SportsCenter Photo credit: ESPN

Former UFC fighter and current ESPN analyst Michael Bisping was caught making a homophobic remark on a hot mic during UFC 298.

The incident occurred late Saturday night as Bisping was discussing Illia Topuria defeating Alexander Volkanovski in the main event.

“15-0, undefeated, 13 stoppages. What a guy, what a night, UFC 298, Anaheim, California. Certainly one for the books,” Bisping said of Topuria. After a brief pause where Bisping presumably assumed the segment was over, a hot mic caught the 44-year-old ESPN analyst mocking his own comments.

“What a guy? That’s f***ing gay,” Bisping said. “Bye bye.”

According to Outsports, the incident was aired by Chinese State broadcaster CCTV. When Outsports reached out to ESPN for comment, the network said Bisping “was not employed” by them that night. Even though the incident did not air on ESPN, Bisping made the controversial comment while holding an ESPN-branded mic. Further, Bisping’s comments leading up to the hot mic incident were also repeatedly used on SportsCenter throughout the weekend. As of Tuesday morning, Bisping has not apologized or issued any comment on the remarks.

This is not the first time Bisping was caught making a homophobic comment on a hot mic. In 2016, Bisping used an anti-gay slur in reference to his opponent Luke Rockhold during their post-fight press conference. “S***, I shouldn’t have said that,” Bisping said immediately after using the slur, telling the media to “delete that comment.”

Bisping seems unlikely to be reprimanded or asked to apologize for his latest gaffe considering it did not air on ESPN and the UFC holds a laissez-faire attitude toward such incidents. Last month, UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland unleashed an anti-LGBTQ+ rant during a press conference. Dana White later defended Strickland’s “free speech” rights while ESPN was silent on the issue.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com