Annoyed by backlash, “permanently disfigured” by Belfort, Bisping now says he’ll take Silva bout if offered

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Michael Bisping said last week that he was no longer all that interested in a fight with Anderson Silva given Silva’s failed drug tests from January, but he’s back tracking on that a bit after getting irritated by the response to that stance.

In an interview with’s Three Amigos podcast, Bisping explained why he felt the way he did last week, and why he’ll take the Silva fight anyway simply to shut people up.

“It’s like I said last week, a man that has had the career that he’s had, being at the top for so long, being the most dominant fighter the UFC has ever seen, it just doesn’t sound logical that at 39-years-old, he would try steroids for the first time,” Bisping said of Silva. “He definitely tested positive for them, and then he came out with all these stupid excuses. He came up with every excuse under the sun, including Viagra, and he looked the fool. I think the general consensus is that he did take something. I just don’t see him, at 39-years-old, with the career he’s had, trying that for the very first time, so he probably did it the whole time.

“It’s disappointing, and I got a lot of flack for saying that. People like to talk shit and jump on the bandwagon, ‘Oh yeah Bisping, you’re just running scared,’ and this and that. Ariel Helwani reached out to me for UFC Tonight, and I backtracked a bit on my earlier comment. I said I wouldn’t fight him or anyone else that has a history of taking steroids. Why should I? Why should we, as fighters, agree to give these people work and let them make a name off our backs and earn money when they’re putting us in danger?

“We all know the dangers of this sport,” he continued. “I mean, we’re trying to knock each other out. I’ve been left permanently disfigured, if you will, from my fight with Vitor Belfort. Vitor Belfort head kicked me and that’s what caused my detached retina. Since then, I’ve had five surgeries, and my eye is never going to look the same again. That was one of the reasons why I said I was never fighting anybody else with a steroid history.

“But, with all the backlash on Twitter, this and that, people saying, ‘Oh he’s scared,’ I told Ariel, ‘Well, f*** it. If the UFC want to make the fight, I’ll do the fight. I’m not scared.’ I really don’t have anything to prove to these people, but it just kind of pissed me off. If the UFC wants to make this fight, I’m all for it. Let’s do it.”

Penick’s Analysis: Clearly he’s annoyed, and he’s got every right to be. He’s not the one who has failed a drug test, and it seems like every opponent who has beaten him, save a couple of names, over the last several years has been on something. It’s been nothing but frustration for the TUF 3 winner for quite some time, and now the next big fight in front of him is yet another fighter who has had some PED issue. Whether he takes the fight or not if offered, it will have nothing to do with being “scared” and everything to do with being sick of fighting PED users.

[Bisping art by Grant Gould (c)]

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