Longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Michael Bisping recently downplayed talk of a potential Anderson Silva fight, insisting that he was no longer interested in competing against anyone with a history of steroid abuse.
You can thank Vitor Belfort for that.
"The Phenom" creamed "The Count" in the main event of UFC on FX 7 back in early 2013. The fight-ending head kick, however, was fueled by testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) -- now outlawed -- and detached Bisping's retina, leaving him permanently disfigured.
From his conversation with Three Amigos Podcast (via Bloody Elbow):
"We all know the dangers of this sport. 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, fuck it. If the UFC wants 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."
See a photo of Bisping's "disfigurement" here.
"The Count" was pulled from the UFC 193 pay-per-view (PPV) event to have elbow surgery (pic), but should be ready to go by the end of the year. The 36-year-old Brit, currently ranked No. 7 at 185 pounds, is coming off back-to-back wins over CB Dollaway and Thales Leites.