Michael Bisping has always been outspoken when one of his peers fails a drug test, and he is no different when it comes to Anderson Silva’s transgressions.
Silva was scheduled to face Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC Fight Night 122 headliner in Shanghai on Nov. 25 but was pulled from the bout due to a potential USADA anti-doping violation. As a result, Bisping stepped in on short notice to square off against Gastelum just three weeks after losing his middleweight belt to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217.
It was the second failed drug test in a little more than two years for “The Spider.” The former middleweight king tested positive for two anabolic steroids in relation to a bout against Nick Diaz at UFC 183, which he attempted to blame on a tainted sexual enhancement pill.
Even as age caught up with him in recent years, the 42-year-old Brazilian has long been regarded as one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters. One bout before he shocked Luke Rockhold to claim 185-pound gold, Bisping took a five-round verdict over “The Spider” in the UFC Fight Night 84 main event in London. After the victory, an exhilarated Bisping called Silva "the greatest martial artist of all time.”
Now “The Count” believes Silva won’t be viewed in the same light as he could have been.
“He’s completely destroyed his legacy in my opinion,” Bisping said during a conference call on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of people that have short memories and they’ll just remember his performances. The guy’s a cheat and it’s a shame. I was a huge fan of Anderson Silva. It’s a black eye for the sport of MMA.”
When it comes to the topic of Silva and his legacy, Gastelum appears to be on the same page as his UFC Fight Night 125 opponent.
“It’s not like I dislike Anderson or I like him. I’m indifferent to him,” Gastelum said. “To me it wasn’t surprising he got caught. You’ve got to move on with the show. I feel like he definitely tarnished his legacy with this.”