UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has never been one to mince words. So when asked on the most recent episode of his podcast, Believe You Me, about Vitor Belfort’s final opponent Nate Marquardt, the champ did not hold back.
“Nate Marquardt has failed several steroid tests over the years. He was abusing testosterone replacement therapy, and he was flat out busted for steroids” a fired up Bisping said. “The guy’s a cheat, he’s an absolute cheat, and now he performs like one.”
Ouch. Marquardt (35–17–2) is 3-6 since returning to the UFC in 2013.
The subject came up due to Bisping’s long history with Belfort, who announced recently that his appearance at UFC 212 against Marquardt will be his last. Belfort, during his controversial testosterone replacement therapy days, finished Bisping in spectacular fashion. The climax of their 2013 UFC on FX 7 main event was set up by a head kick, with the Brazilian finishing off the brash Brit with strikes.
How times have changed. Bisping (30–7) defeated Anderson Silva last year to earn a title shot against then champ Luke Rockhold, then stunned the MMA world by knocking Rockhold out at UFC 199. He went on to defend the belt against Dan Henderson at UFC 204, and is now awaiting a superfight with the returning Georges St. Pierre.
Belfort (25–14), however, has been in free-fall, having lost three straight to Jacare Souza, Gegard Mousasi, and most recently, Kelvin Gastelum.
Bisping admitted on the podcast Monday that his disdain for Marquardt didn’t run as deep as that for Belfort — but that he’d had issues with the American for some time. That stems, it seems, from Marquardt speaking out about Bisping’s infamous confrontation with Jorge Rivera back in 2011. Bisping spit towards Rivera’s corner after their UFC 127 fight, which Bisping won via TKO.
“That guy [Nate Marquardt] had the audacity to say that I bring the sport into disrepute” Bisping said regarding Marquardt’s response to the Rivera incident. “I bring the sport into disrepute. Here’s a guy routinely failing steroid tests, yet I’m the guy that brings the sport into disrepute.”
Vitor Belfort faces Nate Marquardt at UFC 212, June 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There’s no word yet on when Michael Bisping will return to action.