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Morning Report: Michael Bisping says no to Vitor Belfort in final bout because ‘I don’t want to be remembered for being a d*ck’

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Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Last weekend, Vitor Belfort was supposed to have his retirement fight at UFC St. Louis. Unfortunately, his planned opponent, Uriah Hall, suffered a bad weight cut and was removed from the card for medical reasons, leaving Belfort without a dance partner. Belfort quickly pivoted, announcing a desire to rematch former middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC London in March. Bisping himself has stated a desire to have his retirement fight at that event and a rematch between two future Hall of Famers would seem to make a lot of sense for both fighters, but there’s one problem: Bisping isn’t interested.

Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast recently, Bisping categorically shutdown any talk of him possibly fighting Belfort in his retirement fight.

“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.”

Bisping and Belfort previously headlined UFC on FX 7, where Belfort knocked out Bisping with a head kick and punches. At the time, Belfort was granted an exemption to use Testosterone Replacement Therapy and the head kick ended up detaching Bisping’s retina from his right eye, two circumstances that Bisping has not forgotten. When explaining why he had no intention of rematching Belfort for his farewell bout, Bisping pointed to this incident as a key reason why.

“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.’”

But it’s not just his history with Belfort that has Bisping disinterested in battling the “young dinosaur;” as his career draws to a close, Bisping is mostly concerned with going out in a fashion that he can look back fondly on. “The Count” says he wants his final fight to be a tribute to the fans and not an emotionally charged blood feud that would have people remember him for “being a d**k” instead of for being one of the most successful fighters ever.

“And not just that,” said Bisping. “For me, the main reason is I don’t like the guy and I just don’t want to be associated with him and I know if we were to fight, it would just turn into a typical Michael Bisping performance of trash talk and all this type of thing at the weigh-ins and the press conference and all that stuff. I’d be talking s**t and I don’t want to do that.

“This is my - if I fight in London - it’s my last ever fight, and I want to handle myself the way I handled myself the majority of the time. I don’t want it to be some bitter rivalry with a guy that has caused me lasting disfigurement and that I’m emotionally charged up against. I’d rather go out there, put my best foot forward, enjoy the moment, fight somebody that I respect, fight somebody that’s gonna be a challenge but I have a lot of respect for, and do it in a classy way.

“I don’t want to be remembered for being a d**k, and I feel that Vitor Belfort would bring out that side of my personality. It’s my last ever fight, I want to go there and enjoy it. I want to embrace the moment, I want to live in the moment, I want to be respectful towards my opponent, basically thank all the fans of Great Britain for always supporting my career. . . not lunging and arguing and swearing and going at the guy and acting regrettably because years later I would look back and I would regret that.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Lie detector. Jon Jones took a polygraph test to prove innocence for recent drug test failure.

Big event. Cris Cyborg is open to fight with Amanda Nunes, but only on a major event.

Rematch. Vitor Belfort tells Michael Bisping to “stop finding excuses” and rematch him at UFC London.

Broken. Paige VanZant’s coach explains why he let her fight with a broken arm.

Bellator. Scott Coker says network made decision on Bellator 192 television lineup.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA After Hour with Ric’s picks.

Embedded.

Stipe interview.

Ngannou discussing Stipe’s comments about promotion.

Chris Lytle still got it.

Thanks to @_koz for the tip. I’m now devoting my life to covering Calcio Storico.


LISTEN UP

Obviously Fight Talk. Previewing UFC 220 and Bellator 192.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC St. Louis and looking ahead to UFC 220 and Bellator.

The MMA Circus. UFC St. Louis recap and UFC 220 and Bellator previews.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

This is honestly shameful. Weeks to go and they just copy-pasted Yoel in. C’mon, UFC.

The UFC does seem to be giving Ngannou a real push.

He's coming. #UFC220

A post shared by ufc (@ufc) on

Vitor gonna keep trying.

OSP looking for a short-notice replacement, possibly at heavyweight.

Seriously. Daniel Cormier does not get enough respect for how good he is at almost everything. Just a remarkable person human being.

He even squashed his beef with the wrestlers.

Quarry pointing out some flaws with White’s assessment of star-making.

Sounds like it’s gonna be a crowd pleaser.

That we never got Bisping-Romero is a tragedy.

Good catch. The UFC isn’t playing around.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jordan Johnson (8-0) vs. Adam Milstead (8-1, 1 NC); UFC 222, March 3.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Mauricio Rua earned his first win in the UFC, stopping Mark Coleman in the third round at UFC 93.

2016: Dominick Cruz finally reclaimed his UFC bantamweight title, winning a split decision over T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81.


FINAL THOUGHTS

If Bisping wants to fight a guy he won’t have beef with, but is still a legit middleweight, I honestly have no idea who he has in mind. Vitor makes all the sense in the world, though I understand wanting to end your career on a happy note and not a contentious one. I guess we need to get Rich Franklin back for one more go around.

That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who should Michael Bisping end his career against?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Vitor Belfort
    (408 votes)
  • 20%
    Bring Hendo back for one more
    (402 votes)
  • 9%
    Tim Boetsch
    (196 votes)
  • 17%
    Sure, Rich Franklin
    (337 votes)
  • 31%
    Other
    (621 votes)
1964 votes total Vote Now

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