Longtime UFC middleweight and FOX analyst Michael Bisping has said in the past he’ll never fight a steroid cheat inside the UFC octagon again, but he’ll make an exception for Anderson Silva now….

UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping has experienced the highs and lows of living on the fringe of the division’s title picture for many years now. Undoubtedly though, ‘The Count’ has been unfortunate in his run of opponents with steroid related histories. Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva (although he never failed) and Vitor Belfort all beat Bisping, and it eventually led to his decision to no longer fight anyone with a drug marred past.

He came out and said this week that a fight with Anderson Silva was no longer of interest to him. The British slugger had been heavily linked to a bout against the ex-middleweight champion next summer, although nothing has been confirmed. Speaking with The Three Amigos Podcast, as quoted by Bloody Elbow, earlier today, ‘The Count’ goes back on his statements, claiming he now wants to fight ‘The Spider’ again:

“It’s disappointing, and I got a lot of flack for saying that. People like to talk shit and jump on the bandwagon, ‘Oh yeah Bisping, you’re just running scared,’ and this and that. Ariel Helwani reached out to me for UFC Tonight, and I backtracked a bit on my earlier comment. I said I wouldn’t fight him or anyone else that has a history of taking steroids. Why should I? Why should we, as fighters, agree to give these people work and let them make a name off our backs and earn money when they’re putting us in danger?”

“We all know the dangers of this sport. I mean, we’re trying to knock each other out. I’ve been left permanently disfigured, if you will, from my fight with Vitor Belfort. Vitor Belfort head kicked me and that’s what caused my detached retina. Since then, I’ve had five surgeries, and my eye is never going to look the same again. That was one of the reasons why I said I was never fighting anybody else with a steroid history.”

“But, with all the backlash on Twitter, this and that, people saying, ‘Oh he’s scared,’ I told Ariel, ‘Well, fuck it. If the UFC want to make the fight, I’ll do the fight. I’m not scared.’ I really don’t have anything to prove to these people, but it just kind of pissed me off. If the UFC wants to make this fight, I’m all for it. Let’s do it.”

It sounds as though either peer pressure, or the realization that a fight with Silva, win or lose, means a huge paycheck and probably a cut of the pay-per-view numbers too. Although he is now open to fighting the Brazilian legend again, Bisping maintains that he feels Silva has been juicing his entire career:

“It’s like I said last week, a man that has had the career that he’s had, being at the top for so long, being the most dominant fighter the UFC has ever seen, it just doesn’t sound logical that at 39-years-old, he would try steroids for the first time.”

“He definitely tested positive for them, and then he came out with all these stupid excuses. He came up with every excuse under the sun, including Viagra, and he looked the fool. I think the general consensus is that he did take something. I just don’t see him, at 39-years-old, with the career he’s had, trying that for the very first time, so he probably did it the whole time.”

What do you make of Bisping’s opinions on steroid cheats in the sport? Like him or not, he makes some very valid points. Check out the full Three Amigos Podcast, and stay tuned.