Michael Bisping willing to step into the ring and box Tony Bellew: 'I know I can compete with him'

Bisping and Bellew have teased the possibility of facing each other in recent weeks.

Tony Bellew finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a world champion on sacred ground at Goodison ParkAlex Livesey/Getty Images
Michael Bisping will fight in Manchester for the third time in his decade-long UFC career to dateNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is open to the prospect of boxing Tony Bellew, claiming it would be "too easy" to face him in the octagon.

The two Britons have been teasing a potential cross-code fight with each other since August when Bellew spoke of his desire to fight Bisping.

Bellew, who defeated David Haye in March via 11th-round stoppage loss, revealed he was open to facing the 38-year-old in the octagon as he was confident of his abilities beyond boxing.

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Bisping, however, wants a tougher task by taking on the Liverpool native at his own sport and bagging a more lucrative payday.

"Bulls*** to that, I'll step into a boxing ring with him," Bisping told Sportsmail. "I don't want to fight Tony Bellew in a cage, that would be too easy. Plus boxers get paid more money so I'm more than happy to box Tony Bellew, I'll step into his backyard."

"People will say I'm trying to copy Conor McGregor. Jesus Christ, who doesn't want to copy that £100m [McGregor's earnings]."

Any potential boxing fight would have to take place after 4 November as Bisping will defend his middleweight title against the returning Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.

However, the former light heavyweight fighter is serious about facing Bellew following the title fight in New York, adding that he would love to shut his mouth.

"If Tony wants to do it, let me get Georges St-Pierre out of the way and if he's serious about it, which it sounds like he is, then I'm serious about it, 100 per cent," Bisping added.

"I mean I've got no problem. I mean, Tony's got a big mouth on him and I'd love to shut it. I know I can compete with him. I've got good boxing myself. It's a different style but yeah, I'd love that challenge."

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