Michael Bisping has some opinions on past opponent Vitor Belfort. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com
Before a hand injury delayed Chris Weidman’s title defense against Vitor Belfort, the two middleweights were supposed to square off at UFC 181 on Dec. 6.
Now, that title bout is rumored for UFC 184 on Feb. 28. According to Michael Bisping, the longer it takes for Belfort to get a chance to compete, the better it will be for Weidman.
“Vitor is the No. 1 contender,” Bisping said during a Tuesday conference call. “What were my feelings when he got put back [in that spot]? My feelings were this: That is a huge benefit for Chris Weidman, simply because Vitor was on testosterone replacement therapy for a long time, and that does have an impact on your body and the amount of muscle you carry.”
Bisping, of course, lost to Belfort at UFC on FX 7 in January 2013 via head kick and follow-up punches in the second round. That victory was part of the Brazilian’s controversial late-career revival, which many believed was fueled by a TRT prescription.
Earlier this year, the Nevada Athletic Commission put an end to the controversial practice of fighters receiving therapeutic use exemptions for TRT. By the time he steps into the Octagon against Weidman, more than a year will have passed since “The Phenom” knocked out Dan Henderson in November 2013.
“The longer you are off the testosterone you were prescribed to take by a doctor, the more physical changes your body will make,” Bisping said. “But we could be talking over a year when he hasn’t been on the prescriptions he was before. I think the longer it goes before that fight happens, the more Chris Weidman will benefit.
“Vitor’s gonna be weaker, slower, not as strong.”
Bisping, who is coming off a fourth-round technical knockout victory over Cung Le in August, can make significant progress toward an elusive 185-pound title shot with a victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night in Sydney on Nov. 8. Despite many near misses, the outspoken Brit’s goal remains to ascend to the top of the division.
“I got to the top of the sport; I fell short. I think the fact that I’ve been there so many times is a testament to my fighting ability, my character and my will to win,” he said. “I’ve been there several times. Most people only get there once. I’ve dusted myself off, and I’ve come back a better fighter. I’m still as hungry as the first day I put a pair of gloves on. I still want to be a world champion. I’m one of the top guys, I’ve been here for a long time, and I’m not going anywhere yet.”