Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Not a stranger to trash talk, Michael Bisping apparently draws the line when you call him a "hooligan" behind his back, then try to chalk it up as a joke like Vitor Belfort recently did during an interview.
Michael Bisping has made it a habit of calling out plenty of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the only way he knows how.
From labeling Mark Munoz "fat," to describing Chris Weidman's performances "as exciting as watching paint dry," in addition to calling Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch "simpletons" for laying eggs at UFC 155, the British brawler has never been at a loss for words when it comes to the smack-talking department.
Though he doesn't mind taking a few verbal jabs of his own in return, he does, however, take offense if you do it behind his back and not to his face.
That was apparently the case as ‘The Count' recently told SportTv (via Middle Easy translation) he lost respect for Vitor Belfort because he heard through the grapevine that the Brazilian labeled him a "hooligan." To make it worse, this was all after Bisping was being a gentleman and respectful to the Brazilian striker.
" I was very surprised. I have a lot of respect for Vitor, he's a former UFC tournament winner and a former light heavyweight champion and one day he'll be in the Hall of Fame. I train at the gym where his sponsors work and that's not a problem, so I thought we were going to be respectful to each other, but we were in Brazil talking to the press in separate rooms and I heard from Brazilian press that he had called me a hooligan. I was being respectful and, for him to call me a hooligan, when all of his biggest wins in the UFC came from illegal shots to the back of the head... He is a cheater. He's been hitting people in the back of the head for years and I'm training to defend myself exactly from that, because I know he's gonna try that again."
Apparently, once "The Phenom" caught wind of it, he tried to backtrack and say it was all in jest as he explained to him via text message. Bisping would have none of it and tells Belfort to stick his smiley-faced texts where the sun don't shine:
"What made me lose respect for Vitor was the fact that, after he insulted me behind my back, he sent me a text message telling me he didn't mean that and even wrote a 'LOL' and put some smileys in the text. At least admit to what you've said about me, you're a grown man. We're not friends, we're not school mates, so stick your text messages up your ass."
The two middleweights will collide at UFC on FX 7 on Jan. 19, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a fight that could earn Bisping his much-desired title shot against 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva. Of course, Vitor is determined to prevent that from happening by any means necessary.
So, what did we learn today, kids? If you have something bad to say about "The Count," man up and say it to his face.
Oh, and don't call him a ‘hooligan,' he doesn't like that either, apparently.