Althought Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman have been trading verbal shots over the last couple of months, the UFC’s middleweight champ says that ultimately, he respects the accomplished fighter.

Since Bisping took out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in June, Weidman has claimed that having the British star as champion is “embarrassing”. According to Weidman, Bisping would have tough time beating any of the top five ranked 185’ers. Bisping, not surprisingly, hasn’t taken the criticisms in stride, and has returned fire at Weidman.

Well, recently Bisping appeared on “The MMA Hour”, in advance of his fight this Saturday with Dan Henderson. While discussing Weidman, and his wish to face the former champ, Bisping had this to say (quote via MMA

“I would like Chris Weidman simply because, listen, for all the back and forth and the s— talking and because for all of that, I respect Chris Weidman,” Bisping said. “I like Chris Weidman and what he does. He’s got a little bit of a case of sour grapes and this and that, he’s talking a lot s— about me, but, you know, I respect this guy, the way carries himself and this and that, you know, he’s a likable guy. But he’s talking sh-t, so I’d like to fight him.”

Weidman is scheduled to fight Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on November 12th, and if he wins, one would think the “All American” will be tapped for a title shot. Romero has won seven in a row and is coming off a decision win (albeit a tightly contested one) over “Jacare” Souza. Then again, if Rockhold can score an impressive win over Souza on November 27th, the UFC might look at Bisping – Rockhold III.

First things first, however, as Bisping will need to get past the legendary Henderson at UFC 204. The card will go down in Manchester, England.