Vitor Belfort was supposed to square off against Uriah Hall last weekend at UFC Fight Night 124 in St-Louis, but the latter reportedly fainted while cutting weight, and the bout was called off. The show was supposed to be Belfort’s retirement fight.
Belfort’s final fight was pushed further into 2018 and, in the minds of most logical fans, set up the ideal rematch with former champ Michael Bisping.
Michael Bisping a former middleweight champion has said he wants his final fight to take place on March 17th, at the UFC’s upcoming card in England. Then he wants to make sure his contender is a well respected, classy fighter.
Not a “hypocritical drug cheat” like veteran Vitor Belfort.
Bisping has rejected those suggestions in no uncertain terms as he took to his podcast, Believe You Me, to request that he has no interest in making the Belfort fight his swansong. (transcript via MMAFighting)
“I’m not fighting Vitor Belfort in London. 100 percent, I’m not fighting him. Zero percent chance. 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.”
Having lost his middleweight title to the Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217, Bisping courageously offered to step in on late notice to fight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in China but was knocked out in a brutal fashion, resulting in consecutive defeats for Michael Bisping for the first time in his 14-year fight career.
If you remember, Bisping was knocked out by Vitor Belfort in the UFC on FX 7 in the main event back in early 2013.
Vitor Belfort, who also plans to retire after his next fight, remains cold. Belfort blast Bisping via social media.
View this post on Instagram
What a shame @mikebisping !!! @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 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 thru the back door… To be a legend is not to everyone! Que vergonha @mikebisping !!! O @ufc acabou de me dizer q vc recusou a luta. Eu entendo que vc está com medo. As imagens acima meio que explicam tudo… Então para de fingir que é durão e admite que está com medo. E eu pensei que fosse homem suficiente para subir no octógono comigo outra vez, me enganei… Infelizmente parece que não iremos dar aos fãs a luta que eles querem… Feliz aposentadoria, vc deve estar muito feliz por deixar o esporte pela porta dos fundos… Se tornar uma lenda, realmente não é para qualquer um.. #teambelfort
“What a shame Mike Bisping, UFC just informed me that you have declined the fight,” Belfort said. “I understand you are scared. And I thought you were man enough to step up in the Octagon with me again, my mistake. Happy retirement, you must be feeling amazing leaving the sport through the back door. To be a legend is not for everyone!”
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Bisping stop finding excuses. @ufc had offered us Belfort vs Bisping 2 and I said YES. I will fight you in your country. How about that? Let’s make an amazing show for all the fans around the the world and retire in great fashion… Thanks @ufc @danawhite for finding a way to help me with all the camp expenses and offering me this great fight. I promise you and all my fans; on March 17th in London you all will see the Phenom in the octagon. I’m leaving it all in there!! #teambelfort #legacy. Bisping para de arranjar desculpas. O UFC ofereceu Belfort vs Bisping 2 e eu aceitei. Dessa vez vamos lutar na sua casa, o q acha? Vamos fazer um grande espetáculo para todos os fãs espalhados pelo mundo e nos aposentarmos e grande estilo… e obrigado ao UFC em relação aos custos do meu treinamento e por ter me oferecido essa grande luta. Prometo a todos que dia 17 de Março em Londres vcs verão o Fenômeno no octógono. Eu vou deixar tudo dentro daquele cage!!
“Bisping, stop finding excuses,” Belfort wrote on Instagram. “UFC offered us Belfort vs Bisping 2 and I said YES. I will fight you in your country. How about that? Let’s make an amazing show for all the fans around the the world and retire in great fashion.”