With the biggest fight of his career looming, Michael Bisping is brushing off claims that he attacked a 19-year-old man at an Anaheim, Calif., gym in July.
“It is completely inaccurate. It is not factual,” Bisping said during a media call on Thursday. “Of course, he’s filed papers. I haven’t been served, but I’ve heard about this. But no distraction, mate.”
Antonio Georgakopoulos has filed a lawsuit claiming that Bisping called him a “little punk” and an “idiot” and allegedly choked him for taking the middleweight champion’s weights at a 24 Fitness gym. Georgakopoulos claims that he nearly lost consciousness before another gym member broke up the altercation.
Police did not file criminal charges against Bisping. Still, Georgakopoulos is filing a lawsuit for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and other claims.
Bisping will defend his middleweight title against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 in New York on Nov. 4. It is the highest-profile bout of the Englishman’s career to date, and he believes the timing of the lawsuit is no coincidence.
“It happened months ago. It seems very, very tactical. ‘Oh, let’s bring it out a week before the biggest fight of his life.’ Bring some attention to it, perhaps,” Bisping told MMAFighting.com during a media luncheon in Los Angeles. “Look for a settlement. I’m already saying too much. Good job.”