According to former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, he won’t be fighting Vitor Belfort in his proposed retirement fight in London this March.
The idea of a rematch between the two gained momentum after Belfort was removed from last weekend’s UFC St. Louis co-main event following his opponent Uriah Hall’s withdrawal from the bout.
Bisping discussed Belfort’s challenge on his podcast “Believe You Me,” and put the idea to rest in no uncertain terms:
“I’m not fighting Vitor Belfort in London,” said Bisping. “I’m not fighting Vitor Belfort in London. I am not fighting Vitor Belfort in London. 100 percent, I’m not fighting him. Zero percent chance.”
“I may or may not have one more fight,” explained Bisping. “So here’s the thing. I don’t like Vitor Belfort. People looking at this video are probably saying, ‘Look at his eye, he’s a f**king mess.’ It is part of the reason why I never wanted to do a video podcast before, because my eye is a mess and it was Vitor Belfort that did it and he was roided out of his mind. He’s a known drug cheat. I don’t like the guy. I find him to be a hypocrite. It’s his last fight and he’s probably going to juice like crazy again anyway because who gives a f**k. ‘Oooh, I failed. So what? Retired. Done. Gone.’”
Belfort knocked out Bisping with a second-round head kick back in 2013, when Belfort was in the midst of his TRT era. At the time, testosterone-replacement therapy was still somewhat allowed with an exemption, which Belfort exploited during a terrifying run where he knocked out Luke Rockhold, Bisping, and Dan Henderson.
Bisping suffered a notoriously debilitating eye injury due to Belfort’s head kick, which affects the Brit to this very day.
Belfort barked back, of course, in an effort to goad the former champ into a rematch:
What a shame @mikebisping !!! @ufc just informed me that you have declined the fight. I understand you are scared. The images above pretty much explain it all… So stop pretending that you are tough and just admit that you are afraid. And I thought you were man enough to step up in the octagon with me again, my mistake… unfortunately looks like we will not be delivering to the fans the fight they want to see… Happy retirement, you must be feeling amazing leaving the sport thru the back door… To be a legend is not to everyone! Que vergonha @mikebisping !!! O @ufc acabou de me dizer q vc recusou a luta. Eu entendo que vc está com medo. As imagens acima meio que explicam tudo… Então para de fingir que é durão e admite que está com medo. E eu pensei que fosse homem suficiente para subir no octógono comigo outra vez, me enganei… Infelizmente parece que não iremos dar aos fãs a luta que eles querem… Feliz aposentadoria, vc deve estar muito feliz por deixar o esporte pela porta dos fundos… Se tornar uma lenda, realmente não é para qualquer um.. #teambelfort
We’ll have to wait and see if Bisping gives in to ‘The Phenom’s’ trash talk, but at this point, it doesn’t seem like the former champion is looking to go out against the legendary but controversial Brazilian.
And even though Belfort is way past his prime, perhaps it’s best Bisping takes some more time off following two stoppage losses in one month last November. Who should ‘The Count’ fight in his final fight – if he should even fight again at all?