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Bisping: Belfort 'looks like half the man he used to be’

By Daniel Austin, Calgary Sun

Chris Wiedman celebrates after knocking out Vitor Belfort during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Wiedman celebrates after knocking out Vitor Belfort during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2015. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Listen to enough UFC middleweights, and you begin to get the feeling that all of them were rooting for Chris Weidman to deliver a beating on Vitor Belfort last weekend at UFC 187.

Unsurprisingly, Michael Bisping lists himself as one of the Belfort haters. Bisping lost to the Brazilian back in early 2013 when Belfort was still using the controversial testosterone replacement therapy banned last year by the UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

It’s a loss that has haunted Bisping ever since, and he used a Wednesday morning media conference call to rip into man Weidman dominated on Saturday night.

“(Watching the fight) was a bittersweet experience because I looked at him … he looks like half the man he used to be, quite literally,” Bisping said of Belfort. “His legs are like two little chicken legs dangling out of a female’s body.

“He looks like, to be honest, my 14-year-old son could’ve beaten him up.”

Bisping always has been one of the UFC’s premiere trash talkers, but his issues with Belfort run deeper than most. While he’s long been a top 10 middleweight, Bisping has never quite managed to climb to the weight class’ upper tier.

That’s in large part because of losses to admitted TRT users Belfort and Chael Sonnen -- again, the medically-administered programs were legal in MMA at the time -- and Bisping has been a vocal opponent of what he considers to be cheating ever since.

With Belfort now off TRT, it brings up the possibility for Bisping to avenge his loss. Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense for the Englishman to take that fight.

The 36-year-old is coming off an impressive win last month over CB Dolloway at UFC 186 in Montreal and, as the UFC’s No. 9-ranked middleweight, he’s still convinced that a couple big wins could earn him the title shot he’s always craved.

Enter Thales Leites, the weight class’ No. 10-ranked fighter and a guy who’s on a five-fight win streak. Bisping is scheduled to take on the Brazilian on July 18 at UFC Fight Night: Glasgow.

“I would like a rematch (with Belfort) but also I’m focused on the title,” Bisping said. “I don’t really want match-ups that aren’t going to do anything for me. Of course, Vitor, I owe him a kick in the head or a punch in the face. It’s as simple as that, whichever way round we get it done it’s fine by me, but like I said, I’m focused on the title.

“A fight with Vitor isn’t something right now that’s going to help achieve that, but certainly, as I just said, I would love to punch that guy in the face.”

CONFIDENT CONDIT

Only a couple years ago, Carlos Condit was the fan favourite David looking to knock off Georges St. Pierre, the welterweight division’s longtime Goliath.

The years since haven’t been kind to Condit, and when he returns to the octagon on May 30 against Thiago Alves he’ll be needing to remind fight fans of what made him such a highly-regarded contender.

In his mind, though, a win does more than that -- it puts him back in contention.

“A win over Thiago would definitely be good on my resume,” Condit told MMAFighting.com. “He’s always been a top guy in the division and even though he’s not ranked high right now, just because he was out for so long with injuries, I think a win over him will put me right back in title contention. Maybe one more fight, I get somebody tough, and then maybe another title shot.”

Condit’s last win came in August 2013 and his only win over any of the current top five came in 2010 against a 20-year-old Rory MacDonald, so the American may be in for a surprise if he thinks two wins will get him a shot at the champion of one of the UFC’s deeper divisions.

AROUND THE OCTAGON

According to MMAJunkie, Gegard Mousasi is calling for a shot at Belfort in Japan at UFC Fight Night 78 … Matt Brown wants the winner of Condit’s fight with Alves, although he needs to get through Tim Means at UFC 189 first … Weidman’s started talking trash about his next opponent, saying Luke Rockhold isn’t all the impressive … Ryan Bader insists he had no intention of storming the stage to try and get at Daniel Cormier at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference. Sure he didn’t. He just showed up at a press conference for fun, right?

daniel.austin@sunmedia.ca

@SUNDannyAustin 

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