One should always be careful when judging the personality of a combat sports star.
When fighters are at their most visible, in the build-up to a big event, there is so much going on that can skew our perception of them. Testosterone and adrenaline are pumping, gaining a psychological advantage over an opponent is of the utmost importance, and the pressure to drum up interest in tickets or the Pay-per-view is nearly constant.
This concoction of factors means that what we see from fighters is often something of an act, one that does not reflect their everyday personalities.
For example; someone who heard Conor McGregor utter the sentence “If this was a different time, I would invade [Jose Aldo’s] favela on horseback, and I would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work,” might be surprised to see him being such a goddamned sweetheart to this little girl.
Or imagine if somebody’s first impression of Michael Bisping was formed after watching him sling expletive laden threats in the direction of a senior citizen on UFC 204: Embedded.
“With that fat belly,” shouted Bisping as he squared up to Dan Henderson at the weigh-ins ahead of their title fight. “You’re gonna pay the price. I’m going to smash your f**king face in. Smash your f**king face in. You old bastard.”
Those people might be surprised to see this heartwarming video of ‘The Count’ handing out free tickets to two fans who had missed out on a pair during the sale.
Or people who saw Jon Jones calling Daniel Cormier a “pussy” when he thought nobody was recording him, they might be surprised to hear that…to see that…never mind.
(Note: We couldn’t resist making that joke, but to be fair to Jones, he once pursued and helped subdue a man that he witnessed breaking into a car. This happened only hours before he faced Mauricio Rua for the light-heavyweight title at UFC 128.)