The fact that he is perhaps only second to Conor McGregor when it comes to trash-talking and mind games in the world of mixed martial arts means that not everybody will take this claim seriously, but UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping says that he has spies in the training camp of his upcoming opponent Georges St-Pierre.
Bisping takes on St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on November 4th and the highly-anticipated fight will bring an end to lengthy layoffs for both men. For Bisping, it will be his first bout in some 13 months. While for St-Pierre it will mark the end of a far more significant hiatus, as he hasn’t fought since retaining the UFC welterweight title with a disputed split decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November of 2013.
In preparation for his return to the octagon, St-Pierre has been doing a lot of work with legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach at his famed Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles and it is there that Bisping’s men have supposedly infiltrated the Canadian’s camp.
“(St-Pierre) is actually in LA a lot these days,” Bisping said on a recent edition of his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast. “He’s been at the Wild Card Boxing gym, training with Freddie Roach. I have a couple of spies in there, by the way, and they told me some info.”
“Georges, if you’re listening buddy, that’s a public domain. I know people in there. I know what you’re working on, pal. I know what you’re working on, and it ain’t going to work on me, Georgie boy(via MMAJunkie).”
Of course, it’s not uncommon for fighters to claim that they have informants working inside an opponent’s camp. The aforementioned Conor McGregor claimed during a December 2015 episode of UFC Embedded that he had spies in Jose Aldo’s camp ahead of the pair’s meeting at UFC 194. Floyd Mayweather turned the tables on McGregor somewhat ahead of their boxing showdown in August, suggesting on multiple occasions that he was privy to much of the goings on inside the Irishman’s camp. Mayweather made a similar claim after his fight with Manny Pacquiao in May of 2015.
Whether you believe Bisping or not, the British veteran certainly seems extremely confident ahead of the bout, as he went on to predict an early and emphatic stoppage victory.
“Generally, when I fight wrestlers in the past, I move around a lot,” Bisping said. “I utilize a lot of lateral movement, forward and back movement, side to side, because if you’re moving, it’s hard for a wrestler to shoot a double leg on you because you’re a moving target. I won’t be doing that this time.”
“I’m going to stand right in front of him, I’m going to plant my feet, I’m going to walk him down, put him on the back foot, and I’m going to knock him out in the first round. You have my word.”