Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva came face-to-face for the first time before their main event bout at UFC London at a media event on Thursday and things got a little feisty between the UFC stars.
Bisping tried to mess with Silva on his way out but must have forgotten that no one trolls as hard as "The Spider." Bisping walked over to Silva — who is returning to action in London against him after a drug suspension and was conducting interviews with media members at that moment — and began innocently enough.
"There he is," Bisping said (above), turning right and towards Silva, before extending his hand. "See you in London, my friend."
That’s where Silva turned it up a notch, in masterfully passive-aggressive, "sonning" form. Silva took Bisping’s hand, then pulled him in for a hug.
"See you," Silva said, back.
"Good luck, buddy. Say hi [to] your family," he continued.
After the hug, while backing away, Bisping retorted, "No Viagra."
In a strange athletic commission disciplinary hearing in Nevada, Silva attempted to excuse his use of banned performance-enhancing drugs by suggesting he only had meant to take sexual-enhancing and sleep-aid drugs.
The real-life Thursday exchange between Silva and Bisping was captured on video. After Bisping’s taunt of "no Viagra," the quick-witted legend shook his right index finger and replied, "No. No, just my punches in your face."
Forget his years of interviews conducted through an interpreter. When you try to embarrass Silva with words, even in English, he can evidently fire back with ease.
At Silva’s retort, people around the fighters, as well as Silva, broke into laughter. That didn’t seem to sit well with Bisping.
Neither did Silva’s paternalistic assurances, delivered with a wave of his hand and a toothy grin. "Relax," he implored Bisping, shaking him off.
"Don’t worry, man."
Bisping, up until that point walking through a doorway, turned back around, began walking to Silva, suddenly serious, and delivered a rhyme. "My shin," he said, "to your chin."
"Yes, yes," Silva agreed, probably not sincerely.
From there, Bisping got in Silva’s face, touched his graying beard and called him "old." Silva agreed, with a caveat.
"Yes, I’m old, but I’m more smart." he responded "I’m champion for a long time, remember?" he reminded Bisping, who has never competed for a world title.
Silva tried to break the tension with another embrace although it didn’t appear Bisping was in the mood for a jovial hug between opponents.
"No," he interrupted Bisping.
"I understand. Give me a hug. Give me a hug, man."
Bisping obliged, falling into the trap. While in Anderson’s embrace, the former champ threw one more jab.
"I understand your frustration for never going for the belt," Silva said. "You need to prove to the people, you [deserve] a chance at the belt."
Bisping, then, fired back that Anderson needed to prove he "was not on steriods" his "entire life" after his positive drug test last January.
"I’ll be waiting for you in London. Good luck." Silva said as people began to seperate the two veterans.
"I ain’t gonna need luck, it’s done!" Bisping should back before finishing with a spirited "f–k you!" as he left the scene.
There’s still a fight to fight, but it appears the verbal sparring has officially started with two weeks to go until Silva and Bisping face off in London.