Not long ago, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping suggested he would turn down a fight with contender Yoel Romero, even if Romero beat former champ Chris Weidman at UFC 205. His reluctance to accept this potential fight was based on Romero’s failing a drug test in early 2016 – which was ultimately deemed to be the result of his consumption of a tainted supplement.
“If Yoel beats Chris, I honestly don’t think I’ll fight Yoel, because he tested positive for steroids,” he said on his podcast The Countdown with Michael Bisping. “I read an article recently that said that it takes years for the advantages of taking steroids to get out of your system. Just because you don’t test positive anymore doesn’t mean you’ll lose all the extra muscle and stuff like that that you were able to achieve. So I think he needs longer, I really do, and I don’t see why he should be rewarded.”
Given that a win over Weidman would extend Romero’s streak to eight and establish him as a fairly clear-cut number-one-contender, this assertion from Bisping generated quite a bit of controversy. Now that Romero has defeated Weidman, however, Bisping has backtracked.
“Listen, I always say I’ve never ducked anyone in my life, and I never will,” the champ said on a more recent episode of his podcast. “Now, I’m not saying no to Yoel because, believe it or not, after beating Weidman like that, yeah, I do fancy that [fight].”
“I was hoping Weidman would win. I always wanted to fight Weidman – more out of a respect thing really even though we went back and forth and talked [sh*t]. I really never had too much against him. It was more of a comedy thing from where I was concerned, but I did want to fight him.”
“That said, Yoel beat him.”
After agreeing to this yet-unscheduled bout with Romero, Bisping also offered up a timeframe for the fight. Though the champ claims UFC President Dana White offered him the fight at UFC 208 in January, he said he’d prefer to take a little more time off after a busy 2016.
“Sometime in spring – 100 percent – book the fight,” he said. “So it’s looking like that will be the next fight unless something else transpires in some other situation, but it’s looking like me and Yoel sometime in the spring.”
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