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Bisping ready to accept Silva fight; says Belfort permanently disfigured him

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UFC middleweight star, Michael Bisping spoke with the Three Amigos Podcast about being permanently disfigured by Vitor Belfort and why he's now going to accept a fight with Anderson Silva if it's offered to him.

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Recently, there's been quite a bit of focus on the PED problems in MMA. With the fairly new anti-doping program in full effect, Vitor Belfort's elevated TRT levels from the week of UFC 152 coming to light, and a variety of fighters (Luke Rockhold, Ben Rothwell, Tim Kennedy, Michael Bisping) weighing in on the issue over the last week, it definitely has become the hot button topic that's been dominating headlines once again.

UFC middleweight star and perennial Top 10 contender, Michael Bisping stated in an interview that he had no interest in fighting Anderson Silva, as he was likely on steroids for his whole career. The Three Amigos Podcast caught up with Michael on Wednesday evening, who has since changed his mind, and is now more than willing to step in the Octagon with Silva. Here's what he had to say:

TAP: There's been quite a few guys that have a cloud of controversy over them due to PED issues. You recently came out and said you were no longer interested in fighting Anderson Silva because he was likely on the juice the whole time. Luke Rockhold said essentially the same thing of Vitor Belfort. Do you feel that there's a real epidemic of PED users currently, or that it's not as bad as some folks think?

Michael Bisping: You know, that's a hard one to say, but it seems that I've been pretty naïve over the years with my expectancy for people to play straight. It's like I talk to people "in the know," if you will, whatever that is, and when we talk about PEDs, they're like, ‘That guy uses,' and I'm all, ‘What?! No way. Come on.' I think I always expect and see the best in people, but it seems that the more time passes, the more times I'm proved wrong, and people actually are doing that.

How bad is the problem? I'm not sure, but there certainly is a problem. We're starting to see guys get caught, but I'm sure we're nowhere near everybody being caught. It is a problem, it really is.

TAP: Were you surprised when Anderson Silva failed his drug test?

Michael Bisping: Oh 100% I was. That's a guy that nobody expected to test positive. Anderson Silva has always been a fantastic fighter, always been a fan favorite. He certainly doesn't have the body type, he's not covered in muscle and things like that. He just doesn't have that typical body type, but to be honest, that's kind of a naïve way of looking at it. If you're looking for somebody with muscles, that's not always a telltale sign.

Of course I was surprised, but then the cynic in me said, ‘Look closer.' As we heard at the hearing in Nevada, that was the first time he was ever tested out of competition, which is ridiculous. A man at his level, at the very top of the sport, getting tested for the first time out of competition, and lo and behold, he tested positive.

It's like I said last week, a man that has had the career that he's had, being at the top for so long, being the most dominant fighter the UFC has ever seen, it just doesn't sound logical that at 39-years-old, he would try steroids for the first time.

He definitely tested positive for them, and then he came out with all these stupid excuses. He came up with every excuse under the sun, including Viagra, and he looked the fool. I think the general consensus is that he did take something. I just don't see him, at 39-years-old, with the career he's had, trying that for the very first time, so he probably did it the whole time.

It's disappointing, and I got a lot of flack for saying that. People like to talk shit and jump on the bandwagon, ‘Oh yeah Bisping, you're just running scared,' and this and that. Ariel Helwani reached out to me for UFC Tonight, and I backtracked a bit on my earlier comment. I said I wouldn't fight him or anyone else that has a history of taking steroids. Why should I? Why should we, as fighters, agree to give these people work and let them make a name off our backs and earn money when they're putting us in danger?

I've been left permanently disfigured from my fight with Vitor Belfort. I've had five surgeries, and my eye is never going to look the same again. -Michael Bisping

We all know the dangers of this sport. I mean, we're trying to knock each other out. I've been left permanently disfigured, if you will, from my fight with Vitor Belfort. Vitor Belfort head kicked me and that's what caused my detached retina. Since then, I've had five surgeries, and my eye is never going to look the same again. That was one of the reasons why I said I was never fighting anybody else with a steroid history.

But, with all the backlash on Twitter, this and that, people saying, ‘Oh he's scared,' I told Ariel, ‘Well, fuck it. If the UFC want to make the fight, I'll do the fight. I'm not scared.' I really don't have anything to prove to these people, but it just kind of pissed me off. If the UFC wants to make this fight, I'm all for it. Let's do it.

This excellent interview covered a host of other topics (40 minutes in total) including how effective USADA can be at keeping tabs on the UFC fighter roster, his recent elbow surgery and rehab/recovery process, being the most called out fighter in the UFC, who he thinks will win between Rockhold and Weidman, stern advice for Tim Kennedy and much, much more. It is well worth the listen. You can check it out here or via the embedded player below. Michael's interview starts at the 40:00 mark of the audio. Remember, if you're looking for us on Soundcloud or iTunes, we're under the MMA Nation name. Follow our Twitter accounts: Stephie HaynesThree Amigos PodcastIain Kidd and Mookie Alexander or our Facebook fan page, Three Amigos Podcast.