• UFC on FX 7

Bisping: We're not boyfriends, stick texts up your ar*e

ESPN staff
January 11, 2013
Michael Bisping means business © Getty Images

Michael Bisping has fired a verbal broadside at Vitor Belfort a week out from their UFC on FX 7 main event, telling the Brazilian to stop criticising him behind his back and tell him face to face.

Bisping can earn a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva if he beats Belfort in Sao Paulo, and has been largely respectful of the veteran in the build-up to their fight. However, he recently found out that Belfort had been labelling him a "hooligan" in the Brazilian media, according to Fighters Only.

"I was really surprised. I feel a lot of respect for Vitor, he is a former UFC championship winner and former light-heavyweight champion and one day he will be a Hall of Famer," Bisping said.

"I train in an academy where his sponsors work and he doesn't have problem at all about it, so I thought we'd be respectful but we were in Brazil speaking with the media in separated rooms and I heard from the Brazilian media that he had called me a hooligan.

"I was being respectful and he was calling me a hooligan while all of his greatest wins in the UFC came out after illegally hitting the back of the head... he is a cheater. He has been throwing at the back of the head of the opponents for years and I am training exactly to defend it because I know he is going to try it again."

Bisping claims Belfort has tried to sweep the embarrassing exchange under the carpet, revealing he text the Brit to laugh it off.

"What made me lose respect for Vitor was that, after cursing me behind my back he sent me a text message saying that he didn't mean it and still wrote LOL and smiley faces in the text.

"At least admit what you said regarding me, you're a grown man. We're not friends, we're not boyfriends from school, so stick your text messages up your arse."

With the gloves now off, Bisping said what he really thinks of Belfort's questionable cardio, insisting he will drag him into deep waters when the pair collide.

"Vitor has two or three rounds to drop me - and his best chance is to hit me on the back of the head as he did to Rich Franklin, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Anthony Johnson and others.

"I'll force him to fight at a pace which he couldn't have been able to stand even in his twenties. Honestly, his conditioning is pathetic. He is the biggest challenge of my life but I am ready."

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