On Tuesday after discovering an undisclosed injury had forced Luke Rockhold out of this month’s critical scrap against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Gilberto Faria, Souza’s manager, said they would not accept another fight unless it was against UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (pictured).
However, Faria claimed the showdown would never take place because Bisping is afraid to face Souza.
“Michael Bisping is running from ‘Jacare.’” Faria told MMAFighting.com. “He is so scared of him. He’d rather fight someone like Dominick Cruz, who I would put my money on, by the way.”
Bisping, who has been aggressively campaigning for a UFC 206 scrap with former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre since beating Dan Henderson last month, only to move on to Nick Diaz after the UFC failed to offer St-Pierre an acceptable deal, revealed on Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight” that he is now injured and won’t be able to fight anyone.
“I’ve never ducked anybody in my life,” Bisping boasted. “Now I know what everybody at home is going to say, ‘Didn’t you call out ‘GSP’ a couple of weeks ago?’ Yes I did, but really, think about this, that was a massive payday, roughly $3-4 million dollars I would have earned for that fight. Against ‘Jacare,’ I’m going to get around about a quarter [of that amount].
“As you all know, I fought Dan Henderson very recently. I have a fractured orbital. I’m getting [platelet rich plasma] injections. I don’t know what they are, but it sounds fancy. I’m getting them on Friday in my leg. I’m limping around the place, I’ve got a fractured orbital.”
It would be hard to fault Faria for believing how convenient it is that Bisping is suddenly injured one day after his client is available to fight.
Faria must be thinking – Why is Bisping healthy enough to fight the greatest welterweight of all time injured, but not Souza? Or even Diaz instead of Souza? Especially since GSP and Diaz certainly haven’t done anything the past few years to warrant a middleweight title shot.
The money is understandably a factor, but Bisping likely felt he hedged his bet by calling out the two biggest paydays available, who both happen to be coming off extended layoffs. St-Pierre has been on a “break from MMA” for three years and Diaz is still weaving through the red tape from his 18-month marijuana suspension that should have expired in August.
Bisping finally holds the hardware after 26 UFC outings spanning over a decade, so it’s understandable why he wants to select who his next opponent is. His reasoning certainly makes sense in taking a fight against GSP injured if he was going to bank that kind of money. However, that won’t stop Faria from feeling vindicated in stating Bisping is scared to face the dangerous Souza.
Although, once healthy, Bisping says all of the world’s top 185-pounders, including Souza, will get what’s coming to them.
“Yoel [Romero] and [Chris] Weidman, they are fighting. Whoever wins that, either that guy or ‘Jacare’ will be my next fight, make no mistake,” Bisping said. “But I’m not doing it in a few weeks. My name isn’t ‘Short Camp Sally,’ it’s Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping, UFC middleweight champion of the world. And you will get it ‘Jacare,’ and you will get it Yoel, Weidman, Rockhold, all of you. Make no mistake.”
Faria still thinks Bisping is ducking Souza. Make no mistake.