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Morning Report: Vitor Belfort blasts ‘coward’ Michael Bisping, leaves door open for return after retirement fight

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Vitor Belfort

Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort don’t agree on much but one thing they can agree on is neither of them want to fight each other again.

Bisping has been looking for a retirement fight since losing the UFC middleweight title and earlier this week, the former champion revealed on his Believe You Me podcast that he was interested in fighting on the upcoming UFC Liverpool card, though he wasn’t particularly keen on fighting Belfort if that were who the UFC would want him to face.

“I don’t wanna fight Vitor ‘Dad-bod’ Belfort who looks like - he should be embarrassed to have his shirt off; 100 percent,” Bisping said. “I’m not turning him down I’m just saying that’s not somebody I want to share an octagon with. I have zero respect for the guy.”

It wasn’t the first time Bisping has taken a shot at Belfort over the possibility of a rematch but it did seem to get a reaction out of the former light heavyweight champion, who responded by calling Bisping a “coward” and saying “The Count” was just making excuses over losing to him.

“He’s a coward,” Belfort told MMAJunkie recently. “That Englishman is a coward. I’d never seen a coward Englishman before. He took a blow, got stunned, and he has his lame excuses, you know. Leave him with his arrogance over there in England.”

This is far from the first time Belfort and Bisping have had a go at one another. Earlier this year Belfort was floated as a possible retirement opponent for Bisping, who was equally as disinterested in the fight back then, prompting Belfort to take a shot at Bisping on his Instagram account for “leaving the sport thru the backdoor.”

Belfort knocked out Bisping back in 2013, though the loss has always irked Bisping since Belfort was on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) at the time. Belfort had a medical use exemption for the treatment but Bisping has always maintained that the therapy — which has since been banned in MMA — provided an unfair advantage for Belfort.

All of this is moot though, as Belfort is currently preparing for his own retirement fight against Lyoto Machida just a few weeks before UFC Liverpool; unless, of course, the UFC wants to make him an offer. Though he says he’s intent on retiring after his fight with fellow “legend” Machida, Belfort does leave the door open for another fight or two if the money is right.

“It’s what I said: in reality, it will be my final fight and my journey is ending,” Belfort said. “But nothing that a good contract – what, seven digits? – can’t do in terms of helping us return. I’ll keep training. I love doing this. But there needs to be a meaning. There needs to be a purpose and it needs to be something that makes sense.”

With all their trash talk over the years, a rematch with Bisping could be just the fight to do that.

Belfort takes on Machida at UFC 224 on May 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


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Owning up. ONE Championship CEO issues apology to Bibiano Fernandes: ‘I screwed up.’

Big things. PFL partners with reality television guru Mark Burnett.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Beat.

And After the Beat.

Tony’s media lunch.

Another Tony interview.

ONE put up another salvo of free fights. Here’s one and you can find the rest if you follow the video link.

A double dose of TTTHS.

An unseen Conor interview from 2013.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Discussing Joshua-Parker and some UFC 2223 undercard bouts.

Fights Gone By. Jack Slack previews UFC 223.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Should be a good one.

Heartbreaking.

Something to look forward to.

Wow. So much Tommy in your life today.

They both want this fight so bad.

I’m not sure Sage knows how this is supposed to work.

Math.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Darren Till (16-0-1) vs. Stephen Thompson (14-2-1); UFC Liverpool, May 27.

Arnold Allen (12-1) vs. Mads Burnell (9-2); UFC Liverpool, May 27.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Shout out to Marc Raimondi for taking care of the report for me yesterday. Not only is he the best reporter in MMA but he’s also an upstanding gentleman. Give him a follow on the Twitter machine if for some reason you aren’t already.

And that’s it for the week! Yet another weekend without a UFC event but that’s okay because next week is the big one. Khabib vs. Ferguson is arguably the best fight in MMA history so let’s hope we get there without issue this time.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and see y’all Monday.


EXIT POLL

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