MICHAEL Bisping has shot down the idea of fighting Robert Whittaker for the UFC title on Australian soil, declaring: "He can get on a f---ing plane and come to my backyard".
Preparing to defend his middleweight crown against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 this Sunday, Bisping agreed the winner of the Madison Square Garden blockbuster had to square off with Whittaker next.
Yet the outspoken Englishman insisted he had no desire to do it Down Under.
Incredibly, Bisping's stance comes only three days after Perth was revealed as the host of UFC 221 next February - with a Whittaker world title fight the obvious choice for headliner.
"Look, I love Australia,'' Bisping said. "And my wife (Rebecca) is Australian.
"But I've already fought there three times and I think that's enough for one career.
"I don't believe Robert has ever fought in England, though. So he can get on the f ... ing plane and come see me in my backyard.
"I'm the champion, he's the challenger.
"And that's what the challenger needs to do.
"So Robert, when I beat George this weekend get your Visa sorted ... because you're coming to rainy old England."
Pushed on the fact UFC officials want Whittaker fighting for the title on Australian soil, Bisping continued: "Good for them.
"But he's not
"Nobody has even spoken to me about it."
So rule a line through the Perth idea completely then?
"Look, money talks and bullshit runs the marathon," the British fighter cackled. "So grease my palm and I might be there.
"It's not 100 per cent ruled out.
"And if (UFC president) Dana White were standing here right now we might be having a different conversation.
"But it's a pain in the arse for me to go to Perth. It's a long way.
"And where does Whittaker live, Sydney? OK, so he can jump on a 14-hour flight.
"Actually he can go to Manchester, it's longer again."
After Whittaker won the UFC interim middleweight title in July, following a gritty points win against Cuban Yoel Romero, a then injured Bisping stormed the cage and delivered a fiery barrage at the softly-spoken Aussie.
And with Whittaker now in New York City this week ... well, what chance he will do the same come fight night?
"He doesn't have the personality for it,'' Bisping shrugged. "Which doesn't matter, of course.
"You do our talking with your fists in the this game, that's the only talking you have to do.
"But yeah, if we do fight next year, it will be up to me to sell that one as well."
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