Michael Bisping had plenty to say about former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva ahead of their 2016 scrap, and almost none of it was positive.
As it turns out, Bisping actually had a lot of respect for the former champion, but realized a little bit of trash talk was crucial to getting the victory — which he wound up doing via unanimous decision.
In an excerpt from his new book Quitters Never Win, Bisping explained why trash talk was so important in his thrilling matchup with Silva.
See what he had to say below (via MMA Junkie):
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.
After his win over Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping captured the UFC middleweight title with a short-notice win over Luke Rockhold. He then defended the title one time against Dan Henderson before surrendering it to Georges St-Pierre. After losing his next fight to Kelvin Gastelum, he elected to hang up the gloves and focus on other ventures: working as an analyst for ESPN, a commentator for the UFC, a podcaster, and a more recently, writer.
What do you think of these comments from Bisping?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/27/2020.