Luke Rockhold has never been a fan of Michael Bisping but it seems he likes him even less a year and a half into his middleweight title reign in the UFC.
Of course, Rockhold has a reason to hold a grudge against Bisping after falling to him last June in the fight that cost him the title, but that still doesn’t begin to explain his disdain for the current champion and it all stems from the competition he’s faced thus far.
In Bisping’s first title defense after beating Rockhold, he faced Dan Henderson in a rematch after falling to him by knockout in their first meeting all the way back at UFC 100.
Now in Bisping’s second title defense, he’s set to take on Georges St-Pierre, who is a legend of the sport but he’s a fighter who has never competed at middleweight during his entire career. Meanwhile, a laundry list of top notch middleweight fighters have been squabbling amongst each other just waiting for a shot at Bisping that may never come.
“I think it’s the worst in UFC history,” Rockhold told “UFC Tonight” when asked about Bisping’s title reign. “No one has ever gotten that treatment. No one’s avoided every top contender. He’s supposed to fight “Jacare” [Souza], he avoided that. He was supposed to fight Yoel [Romero], he avoided that and somehow he’s getting away from this fight with [Robert] Whittaker.
“He found Dan Henderson, the No. 14th ranked at the time and now he’s going for GSP. He hasn’t done anything. I fought a guy [in David Branch] that’s four spots higher than he fought in his ‘title defense’.”
"I think it's the worst in UFC history."
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 21, 2017
While Bisping is preparing for his showdown with St-Pierre in November, Rockhold did return with an impressive second round finish over Branch on Saturday night to put himself back near the top of the middleweight rankings.
Unfortunately for him, Bisping has already said that his fight against St-Pierre could be the final of his entire career as he’s contemplated retirement after UFC 217 is finished.
That statement didn’t exactly shock Rockhold, who expected Bisping to avoid facing him for a third time after their career series is tied up at one win a piece.
“I’m going to put myself into position [to fight him],” Rockhold said. “He’s going to have a choice. Whether he stands and fights like a man or he runs and we all know what he’s doing.
“He’s ran from the start and it looks like he’s going to run to the finish.”
Rockhold would never wish injury upon anybody but he’d love the opportunity replace St-Pierre in that fight against Bisping on Nov. 4 just for the opportunity to settle his longstanding grudge against the Brit.
If that fight doesn’t come to pass, Rockhold has two other opponents in mind that he would like to face as he gets back into title contention.
“I want GSP to get lost on his way down to Madison Square Garden and I stroll right in and finish that story. So obviously that would be an ideal situation for me,” Rockhold said.
“[The alternative] that would be Robert Whittaker. That’d be the real champion, the man who fights the guys. We’ll see what his timetable is of course. Obviously, our third option is Yoel Romero.”