With UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping still hoping to meet Georges St-Pierre before the end of the year, Yoel Romero will meet Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 on Saturday night for UFC’s interim middleweight strap.
According to the champion, he “couldn’t care less” about the interim title clash because everybody knows that that Romero and Whittaker are not competing for “a real title”.
“I couldn’t care less about it,” Bisping told Ariel Helwani on this week’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“This isn’t a real title fight. I said the same on Instagram last night; the belt is not up for grabs. And it’s not up for grabs, even the UFC know that.
“Robert and Yoel must know that. Do you know how they know that? (They know it) because they’re the co-main event to Valentina f**king Shevchenko.
“If the real 185-pound belt was on the line it would be the main event. That is a fact. But it’s not. The interim belt isn’t worth the leather that it’s printed on.”
Despite the Brit’s legacy being forged through his willingness to take on all challenges, ever since he won the title, Bisping has been receiving more criticism than ever.
His one title defense came against a retiring Dan Henderson at UFC 204 after dethroning Luke Rockhold with a first round knockout at UFC 199. Various scheduling issues have left his proposed bout with St-Pierre up in the air and subsequently, Bisping has been left on the sidelines.
Bisping admits that he is under a lot of scrutiny as of late, but he is adamant that he is ready to take on any of the top contenders at 185 pounds.
“I’ve got thick skin. The amount of abuse I get on Instagram is off the charts. I couldn’t care less whether it’s GSP, Yoel Romero or Robert Whittaker next. I could do with the payday. Money is always nice.
“I’ve accepted fights on short notice. I have more UFC fights than anyone. I accepted a fight from the UFC getting on the scales for an actual fight, and I agreed to future fights six weeks later.
“I don’t give a s**t. I fight all the time. The people who think I’m scared or that it bothers me, or that I’m trying to hold onto my title so I can be champion for a little while longer—that’s absolutely hilarious.
He also maintained that he has no concerns about some fans declaring that Romero and Whittaker are meeting for “the real middleweight title”.
He said: “It doesn’t bother me. The UFC have to sell pay-per-views to hype this up so it will be a big event, so they stuck an interim title fight on there. It’s just business.
“Does it detract from my belt? Not one little bit. It doesn’t detract from my confidence. I knocked out Luke Rockhold, the former champion, inside one round.
“Whatever happens, nothing can take away from that. I defended (the title) two months later against Dan Henderson, and now here we are. It’s all good.”