Michael Bisping took a break from pre-fight trash talk for a rare moment of sincerity during an appearance on “Conan” Wednesday night.
In March, the UFC announced that former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre would be returning to face Bisping for the middleweight title at an event in the summer. However, St. Pierre asked for the fight to be pushed back so that he could recover from an eye injury. Now, Bisping and St. Pierre will headline UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 4. That prompted Bisping to speculate that his opponent delayed the contest so that he wouldn’t fail the USADA drug testing required by the UFC.
For the most part, “The Count” took back those remarks when talking to host Conan O’Brien. Still, the outspoken Brit couldn’t resist throwing a few more jabs at St. Pierre.
“OK, so I alluded possibly that he was trying to get the steroids out of his system. But honestly I don’t think it’s that,” Bisping said.
“I don’t want to publicly say that [he’s on steroids]. He’s coming up a weight class from welterweight to middleweight to fight me, so I was saying that he’s doing lots of weights to get bigger. Realistically, I think he’s trying to grow the size of his balls.”
When pressed, Bisping admitted that his accusations were all in the name of building the fight and promoting conflict with his opponent.
“No, I don’t [believe St. Pierre is on steroids]. I was doing typically what I do, just talking a little smack,” he said. “I’m just trying to irritate him, which unfortunately I have a knack for doing.”
Bisping, 38, captured the middleweight title with a surprising first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. His lone championship defense thus far came at UFC 204, when he avenged a previous loss with a five-round verdict over Dan Henderson. Bisping’s reign has been controversial because he hasn’t faced any of the top contenders at 185 pounds, and there remains a chance that he never will. Bisping has flirted with the idea of retiring after the St. Pierre bout, and he didn’t exactly squash those rumors during his “Conan” appearance.
“I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ve done this for a long time,” Bisping said. “You can’t do it forever. We’ll see how this fight goes. I’m pretty confident I’ll win. Georges is a great guy, he’s a great fighter, he’s a hell of an athlete. So we’ll see what happens.”