Michael Bisping was in Anderson Silva’s face, taunting the Brazilian for his failed drug tests and ‘Thai sex pills’, from the moment their legendary middleweight matchup at UFC Fight Night 84 was first announced.
Bisping insulted Silva at every opportunity and, although Bisping has never been known for his calm and stoic demeanour before fights, ‘The Count’ kicked things into overdrive for UFC London.
The now-retired UFC Hall of Famer revealed in his exclusive book, Quitters Never Win (h/t MMA Junkie), why he was so aggressive towards Silva, claiming that ‘The Spider’ is most dangerous when his opponents show him too much respect.
“I’d blasted him about his 2015 failed drugs tests and his excuse he’d used a Thai sex pill (“Did it work, then?” I asked the GOAT, “Do you get an erection or not?”). I got into his face every chance I got – at the press conference, at a photocall at Tower Bridge in London, when we passed each other at the UFC host hotel.
So, why did I go all out to piss off the greatest fighter of all time?
Simple, I respected him too much and Silva preyed on respect. For years, I’d watched opponents fail to challenge him to the best of their ability because they went in going, “Oooh, it’s the legendary Anderson Silva.”
Meanwhile, Silva – a master mind-gamer – would be using meticulous deference (the bowing and all that nonsense) to con opponents into “respectful” martial arts contests that best suited his style. Then, inevitably, he spring the trap and smash them to a brutal defeat.”
Bisping went on to beat Silva in a gruelling five-round fight, with both men earning a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for their show of warriorship.
Although Bisping retired in 2018, Silva, 44, is still competing. The former long-running UFC middleweight champ last fought at UFC 237, where he suffered a first-round TKO defeat to Jared Cannonier.