Vitor Belfort saw his retirement fight collapse when Uriah Hall was forced to pull out of their UFC Fight Night 124 bout in St. Louis on Sunday. According to Dana White, Belfort was offered replacement opponents for Sunday’s card and the upcoming UFC 220 event this weekend but declined both.
Belfort is reportedly looking for a fight against former UFC middleweight champion and former rival Michael Bisping, who looks set to hang his own gloves up in London on March 17.
“This thing went down, we worked quickly and we got Vitor a fight,” White told Fox Sports 1 following UFC Fight Night 124. “He could’ve fought tonight and he chose not to. So then we got him a fight in Boston; he chose not to fight then. I don’t know who the opponents were, but they told me we got him two fights. We got him a fight tonight, we got him a fight in Boston. He turned both down.
“What I’m hearing is he wants to fight Michael Bisping in London,” White said. “When I get back to Vegas and get back in the office, I will obviously talk to Vitor and I’ll talk to Mike. We’ll see what happens.”
According to Ariel Helwani, Bisping will not entertain the idea of fighting Belfort:
A report surfaced earlier today that Michael Bisping v Vitor Belfort is in the works for London in March. I asked @bisping if that was true. He said 100% not true. He also said, “I detest Vitor. Do not want to be associated with him in the slightest.”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 14, 2018
“The Count” has been an outspoken critic of Belfort’s history of using ‘steroids’. Bisping tore into his former opponent during an episode of his Believe You Me podcast in March last year, and does not appear to have warmed to him since then:
“This is a sign of the p**sy that Vitor Belfort is. This is the sign of a p**sy that takes f**king steroids his entire career. If you take steroids, you are a f**king p**sy because you’re so mentally weak that you feel that you can’t go out there and fight these people on a level playing field because you’re gonna get your ass kicked. So you worry, and you look, and you look for shortcuts, and you look how you can cheat, and you think, ‘Oh I’m gonna take these steroids and they’re gonna build my muscle and make me recover better’ and all this type of stuff.
“And they do give you advantages. They give you physical and psychological advantages. But if you need those advantages then you are a coward, you’re a f**king p**sy, and you are a cheat, and the very fact that somebody would take steroids their entire career, then get their ass kicked, then call out CM Punk, I’m not surprised motherf**kers. It’s a simple as that and that just speaks volumes to the character and the level of a man that Vitor Belfort is. I wouldn’t f**king p*** on him if he was on fire.”
I think it’s safe to say that Belfort may have to look at alternative options for his retirement bout.