Retired UFC champion Michael Bisping has chimed in with his experience of dealing with Monster Energy Executive Hans Molenkamp. In a recent episode of the Believe You Me podcast, The Count shared details of a conversation with Molenkamp that led to the loss of Monster sponsorship for Bisping.
Michael Bisping revealed that Monster Energy stopped representing him after Bisping refused to acknowledge Hans Molenkamp as a friend during a phone conversation, asking him to keep the association at a professional level.
"Ya, that's what he does and he tried it with me. Alright, f**k it. I'm gonna talk. I am gonna say it. I'm driving out of Vegas one night after commentating and he calls me up and he is going, 'Mike, we're friends, we're friends, aren't we?' And I say, No we're not, okay. I've known you for a long time but we never hung out. We're business associates and that's okay. Do you know what I mean?"
"Stop dangling this friend card. We're not friends, we're business associates. That's it. That's all we need to be. We don't get together, our families don't hang out. Shortly after that, I wasn't with a certain company anymore. All of a sudden I am f***ing broke, okay? Thank you Hans," Michael Bisping said.
Michael Bisping's remarks on Hans Molenkamp are the latest in a series of controversies that stemmed from former UFC champion Dominick Cruz's callout of Molenkamp in a post-fight interview at UFC 259.
Following his win over Casey Kenney, Dominick Cruz accused Hans Molenkamp of misrepresenting his relationship with UFC fighters to enhance his own reputation on social media. MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz and UFC fighters Angela Hill and Cub Swanson backed The Dominator's accusations before Michael Bisping.
Since his return to competition in 2020, Dominick Cruz has voiced out concerns over industry practises that exploit fighters in every way possible. Many experts in the MMA community have shed light in their own right but the issue does not get talked about nearly as much as it should be.
'You've gotta kinda play along' - Michael Bisping
Dominick Cruz's claims that Hans Molenkamp forces UFC fighters to overplay their relationship with him to get their sponsorship money from Monster Energy. Michael Bisping reacted to social media videos of Molenkamp pulling off practical jokes on fighters and revealed that the jokes are usually staged to play by Molenkamp's rules for keeping their sponsorship deals alive, which sits perfectly well with Cruz's claims.
"This is like his thing by the way. This is what he does to a lot of fighters. There is so many of them. He pretends like he just goes there and messes with them but it is all set up, it's all staged. But you see, you've gotta kinda play along... Being a company man you've gotta go along but it is all kinda cringe," Michael Bisping said.