Michael Bisping confronted Anderson Silva over his use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) ahead of the pair's London clash on Feb. 27 at UFC Fight Night 84.
Former long-term middleweight champion Silva is returning from a year-long ban after testing positive for "multiple banned substances" following his unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183.
Ahead of the headline fight at the O2 Arena later this month, Silva and Bisping exchanged some heated verbals as they honoured media duties, an initial friendly exchange turning quite aggressive when the Englishman brought up the 40-year-old's PED use, per BloodyElbow.com's Anton Tabuena:
"See you in London my friend," Bisping opened.
"No Viagra," he then added.
"No. No. Just my punch in your face," Silva responded. "Relax, don't worry man."
"It's my shin to your chin. You're too old. Too old. Look at this beard." Bisping said.
"I'm old. But you know what, I'm more smart," Silva said. "I'm champion for a long time. Remember?"
"Yes, on steroids." Bisping shot back.
"Come on man. Give me a hug. Give me a hug," Silva said as he embraced Bisping. "I understand your frustration for never going for the belt."
The full exchange can be seen below (Warning: contains NSFW language):
Bisping, 36, has been very vocal in his condemnation of Silva's PED use. Despite describing the Brazilian as "the greatest of all time," he also questioned how he could call himself a martial artist having taken drugs, per MMA Junkie's John Morgan and Ken Hathaway.
The pair's meeting has been a long time in the making. During Silva's seven-year reign as the UFC middleweight champion—from 2006 to 2013—Bisping often came close challenging the Spider, but a fight never happened.
Now that the duo are finally set to come together, it is very difficult to predict who will come out victorious.
Silva is a legend of the division and the sport, but he has not claimed victory in the Octagon since 2012—his triumph over Diaz having been overturned after his positive test.
Meanwhile, the Count's record in the UFC stands at 17-7, but he is unbeaten when fighting in the UK, per UFC:
UFC Europe @UFCEurope
Undefeated in the UK! 🇬🇧 Can @bisping keep that record up at #UFCLondon against Anderson Silva? https://t.co/9G8BConFaP2/11/2016, 4:39:01 PM
Bisping will undoubtedly have the backing of the London crowd, and it is set to be a charged atmosphere in Greenwich come fight night, especially after the pair's latest exchange.
A win for the local favourite will take him one step closer to a first title fight with current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, but against a legend like Silva, it will be a very tough task.