UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has rubbished claims from Yoel Romero's camp that he is ducking a matchup with the former Olympic silver medalist.
Bisping's defence is simple: you can't turn down a fight that hasn't been offered. The Englishman says that the UFC hasn’t officially given him a date or an opponent for his next title defense.
“I’ve never ducked anybody and certainly now that I’ve got the belt you can’t do that,” Bisping told the 'UFC Unfiltered' podcast.
“Of course, now when you’re in that position you do want to try and make smart business choices but you’ve got to fight the best guys. After I won the belt off Luke Rockhold, the UFC called me a couple of days later and offered me Dan Henderson and I know that ruffled a few feathers in the middleweight division. Now people want more than ever for me to face the No. 1 contender.
“So great, I’ve got no problem doing that. I want to do that. I don’t want my legacy as somebody that avoids the best guys. Far from it. I fought the best guys my entire career, why am I going to stop doing that when I become the champion? That doesn’t make sense. But also at the same time, I want to capitalize on this position that I’m in. So we’ll see. I haven’t been offered anything official from the UFC but if the offer’s Yoel Romero, [expletive] it, I’m all for it.”
Romero has been trying everything in his power to goad Bisping into a fight, even going so far as to create a GoFundMe page asking for funds to help pay for the champion’s medical expenses after he's done with him.
Bisping had to admit that got a smile out of him.
“He’s been on a tirade of abuse lately and as I say, god bless him, you’ve got to do what you can do to get fights and get noticed in this game. He set up a GoFundMe page, it was kind of cute but I will take that money,” he said. “There’s like $220 in that GoFundMe so the joke’s on you [expletive].
“I’m going to take that money, I’m going go to a spa and get a nice massage and maybe a glass of champagne and that’s all on Yoel Romero so thank you very much.”
As much as Romero wants the Bisping fight, he might have to wait in line. Rumours suggest that Georges St-Pierre, who has just put pen to paper on a new deal to return to the UFC, is eyeing a move up to middleweight.
If the opportunity to face the UFC legend presents itself, Bisping says he would be a fool not to take it. The UFC actually tried to put Bisping v St-Pierre together last year, but negotiations broke down with St-Pierre's camp at the time.
“Here’s the thing as I said, if they offer me the No. 1 contender, I’ll take the No. 1 contender. If they offer me GSP, I’d be a fool not to take GSP so of course, I’d take GSP,” Bisping said. “If they offer that fight, which as I said there’s been no word on that yet, I hope they do.
“GSP coming back after three years, I think it’s a tough fight for GSP if I’m honest. Fighters know the hardest part, of course, fighting is very, very physical, but the hardest part is the mental aspect, the self-doubt, the inner demons and GSP kind of had a tough fight against Johny Hendricks last time out and I think spending three years away coming back, stepping up a weight class and fighting me, I think that’s a bad idea for Georges St-Pierre. If he wants to do it, god bless. I see that fight ending pretty well for me.”