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Vitor Belfort has some thoughts on Michael Bisping's refusal to fight him in London



In today’s installment of “Vitor Belfort airs grievances on Instagram,” we appear to have gotten some type of closure on the Michael Bisping front.

Following a scrapped UFC Fight Night 124 meeting with Uriah Hall that was also to serve as Belfort’s (26-13 MMA, 15-10 UFC) retirement bout, “The Phenom” was quick to angle for a new matchup. More specifically, he wanted a rematch with also near-retirement Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) – whom Belfort had already met and defeated in a UFC on FX 7 headliner back in 2013.

Having first met Bisping in Brazil, Belfort was even gracious enough to concede the hometown advantage to his opponent this time. He then urged the former middleweight champion to “stop finding excuses” to turn down a UFC Fight Night 127 meeting in London.

“Let’s make an amazing show for all the fans around the the world and retire in great fashion,” Belfort said.

Well, these are two huge names, about to retire, and there’s a long-running rivalry there. Not to mention Bisping had already talked about his desire to have his swan song in London at the March 17 UFC Fight Pass event. So why not?

Well, first off, they’d be missing one of the fighters.

“I’m not fighting Vitor Belfort in London,” Bisping said on his “Believe You Me” podcast. “I’m not fighting Vitor Belfort in London. I am not fighting Vitor Belfort in London. One-hundred percent, I’m not fighting him. Zero percent chance.”

Judging by a post on Belfort’s Instagram account this morning, the ex-champ has found out the fight is not happening, which prompted some choice words toward the “scared” Brit. Befort now says Bisping will be leaving MMA “through the back door.”

“What a shame, Michael Bisping. The UFC just informed me that you have declined the fight. I understand you are scared. The images above pretty much explain it all. So stop pretending that you are tough and just admit that you are afraid. And I thought you were man enough to step up in the octagon with me again, my mistake. Unfortunately, it looks like we will not be delivering to the fans the fight they want to see. Happy retirement, you must be feeling amazing leaving the sport (through) the back door. To be a legend is not to everyone”

Interestingly enough, the images indeed are a key part of why Bisping does to not want to fight Belfort. Just, perhaps, not exactly for the reasons Belfort thinks they are.

On the podcast, Bisping explained that his head-kick KO loss to Belfort led to a detached retina and, as a consequence, to “lasting disfigurement.” Taking damage, of course, is part of the fight game, but Bisping’s issue there was that Belfort, at the time, was using then-allowed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Or, in Bisping’s words, “He was ‘roided out of his mind.”

Ultimately, Bisping said his ill feelings toward “known drug cheat” Belfort would end up playing a part in the promotional process. And an emotionally charged “typical Michael Bisping performance of trash-talk” is not how he wants to go out of this sport.

“I don’t want to be remembered for being a (expletive), and I feel that Vitor Belfort would bring out that side of my personality” Bisping said. “It’s my last ever fight, so 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 toward my opponent and 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.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 127, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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