UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping has slammed Vitor Belfort for the way he fought in his recent Triller main event against boxing legend Evander Holyfield.
Belfort returned to the boxing ring last weekend for the first time since his professional debut victory over Josemario Neves in 2006. The former UFC Light heavyweight Champion was originally set to face former six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya. However, “The Golden Boy” was forced to withdraw after he was hospitalized with COVID-19. On short notice, 58-year-old Holyfield stepped in.
The bout was controversial even before “The Real Deal” entered the ring. Having looked sluggish during fight week, most criticized Triller for allowing Holyfield to fight, especially considering the NYSAC had suspended his license in 2004 for “poor performance and diminished skills.”
As most had predicted, “The Phenom” was a large step above Holyfield. He finished the former heavyweight champ in the opening round.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping is the latest name to come out and slam the matchup, as well as Belfort’s post-fight celebrations. Speaking in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, “The Count” first discussed how the pair looked in the Triller main event. He suggested that both the Brazilian and the American were on steroids.
“Evander went out there, he looked so slow. Fair play to Vitor Belfort. He did look fast. He looked like, for some reason, somehow he hit puberty again for like the fourth time in his life. His muscles were growing back. No doubt. He had spots on his back as well. And he looked fast. It was all back. I guarantee he was on steroids. He was on everything under the sun. Now fair play, I guarantee that Evander Holyfield was as well, you don’t look like Evander Holyfield at 58 years like that, unless you get a good doctor and you got an ass, like a dark board, it’s as simple as that.” (h/t Middle Easy)
Bisping went on to slam Belfort for the way he performed in the exhibition bout. According to the UFC color commentator, the 44-year-old should have taken it easy on Holyfield once it became obvious that “The Warrior” couldn’t perform at a high level.
“If it’s an exhibition bout, come on, take it easy on the guy a little bit. It’s clearly obvious when he fell through the ropes…we don’t see that from boxers in their prime. Then he drops him and puts him down. And he’s back on the feet. Is that okay? There’s the time now, Vitor to maybe step off the gas a little bit and have a little play. It’s clear. You’re at this point, better than him because of your athletic ability, because you’re faster. He’s 58 years old and he’s old news and he’s got too many miles on the clock.
“He’s a brave, broken down, old vehicle. He is conquered out right before your very eyes. Take it easy. Play the game. You were fighting like this was personal. Evander Holyfield hasn’t done anything to you. Give the people what they paid to see. Whoever partied ways with their money on Saturday and had to watch that shit show. Give them what they paid to see, give them an exhibition match.”
Bisping further laid into Belfort for the way he celebrated the victory. Given Holyfield’s age and performance, “The Count” believes the Brazilian’s post-fight actions were overboard considering who he’d beaten.
“You were fighting him like he insulted your mother. You fought him like you were Tyron Woodley and he talked shit about mama Woodley. My god, leave poor Evander alone. Have a little exhibition match, but you didn’t do that. You went out there, you blitzed him. Fair enough. You got a first-round stoppage against an old guy or an old guy that can’t clearly fight anymore. Then you celebrated like you just knocked out Mike Tyson in his prime.”
After his victory over Holyfield, Belfort called out new boxing sensation Jake Paul. The YouTuber-turned-boxer is undefeated in the squared circle. The 24-year-old recently defeated former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley via a split decision.
“The Phenom” offered Paul a $25 million winner-takes-all fight, which was later upped to $30 million by Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh. “The Problem Child,” however, doesn’t believe the promotion can put up such a high sum. With that said, it remains to be seen who Belfort will enter the ring with next.
Do you agree with Michael Bisping? Should Vitor Belfort have gone easy on Evander Holyfield?