Long-time UFC middleweight veteran Michael Bisping added another notch to the win column this past Saturday (July 18th, 2015) with a split decision win over resurgent grappler-turned striker Thales Leites. Although he was in trouble a few times during the gruelling five rounder, ‘The Count’ came through in the battle of attrition and earned the judge’s nod in a close fight. See the highlights of the win here, and the nasty video of Bisping’s injured toe here.
There are a lot of potential fights that wait ahead for the British TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) 3 winner, perhaps none more relevant than with Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. Talking during the UFC Fight Night 72 post-fight presser, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting, ‘The Count’ says he has his sights set on both men in the near future:
“As a fighter, everybody wants to face the guys that have victories over them,” Bisping said at the post-fight press conference. “Especially guys that have victories for unfair reasons. They’re all taking testosterone replacement therapy, they’re taking steroids, they’re using their backsides like a dartboard. They’re cheating, scumbag m*therf******. I would love to face them on a fair playing field — [drug] test them before the camp, during the camp and on the night.”
“Regarding the top 10, as you said, it’s full of killers,” Bisping said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s a very, very tough time to get that belt. It’s now or never. I’m not getting any younger. If I can get another win, another top-10 win against another guy later in the year then I think I’ve earned my title shot. I’ve been around here forever.”
It was a notorious UFC 100 in 2009 where Dan Henderson ended the feud with Bisping in dominant fashion, with one of the most watched highlights in MMA and UFC history. Vitor Belfort scored a huge head kick KO over ‘The Count’ during a 2013 burner in Brazil, the correlation between the two? TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) was rampant in the sport, and both men, although more so ‘The Phenom’, were known users. The British boxer makes the comparison between then and now for the Brazilian knockout artist:
“If you look at Vitor when I fought him, he looked like a cross between a power-lifting champion and the Incredible Hulk,” Bisping said. “When he stepped in against Chris Weidman, he looked like somebody’s out-of-shape, middle-aged man, a dad that went to the gym once a week. So it was certainly two different people. I would love to smash his face in and shut him up once and for all and get the revenge. I have no respect for that guy whatsoever. I think he’s a piece of sh*t is what I think.”
“God bless him, he’s had a great career, but he was on testosterone replacement therapy when we fought,” Bisping said. “And the amount of testosterone they were allowed to legally have in their system was just ridiculous and there’s a reason why it’s been outlawed. They used to say, ‘Oh, I have to have testosterone replacement therapy otherwise I couldn’t fight.’ Well, now it’s banned and they’re still fighting, so did they need or they didn’t need it? Well, the fact is they didn’t need it. They were cheating. They were manipulating the system.”
An ageing Hendo recently proved it wasn’t just the TRT giving him big wins, but also many losses during his recent run of form, as he blasted Tim Boetsch in the first round. ‘The Phenom’, however, did not look so hot in defeat to Chris Weidman at UFC 187. The co-main event of the PPV (pay-per-view) card saw Belfort ragdolled and smoked like a crack house roach, in a first round TKO win for ‘The All-American’. Perhaps a rematch with either man, and a victory of course, could pave the way for the long-awaited title shot that has always proved elusive for Bisping.
Currently riding his longest win streak since 2011, Michael Bisping says it’s about time:
“I’ve just gotta keep winning fights,” Bisping said. “I’ve dedicated so much of my life to this sport. I know I can compete with these guys. And I’ve shown that and that’s why I’m still ranked in the top 10 after 10 years in the organization.”
“It’s about time I got my g*d*mn f*cking title shot,”
A bold statement, but with the killer’s row at 185 pounds right now, including Luke Rockhold who recently dominated ‘The Count’, will anybody heed the call?