Following a third-round knockout loss to Yoel Romero at February’s UFC 221, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold revealed the UFC was targeting a trilogy match-up with Michael Bisping for his next fight on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani yesterday.
The booking makes a ton of sense considering the two have fought twice before with each man picking up a victory, but “The Count,” who miraculously won the title by knocking Rockhold out cold at 2016’s UFC 199, told MMA Fighting that he hasn’t been offered any such bout.
According to him, Rockhold, who recently signed on as the face of Ralph Lauren’s new cologne, should stick to modeling after two knockout losses in his last three fights:
“I can categorically on the record state that I have not been offered a fight with (Rockhold) on July 7,” Bisping said. “He shouldn’t be so keen to get knocked out again anyway. Stick to modeling. Judging by his last three fights, MMA certainly doesn’t appear his thing anymore.”
Piercing words from Bisping, who has lost his last two fights by stoppage himself after Georges St-Pierre submitted him in November before Kelvin Gastelum brutally knocked him out only three weeks later when he filled in for Anderson Silva at UFC Shanghai.
It’s largely accepted that Bisping has one fight left in his decorated career, and a trilogy match-up with Rockhold would be quite the send-off for the British MMA great.
He’s been linked to retirement fights with Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Vitor Belfort, but none of them have come to fruition thus far.
Rockhold insists the UFC is pursuing the fight, but Bisping insists he’s heard nothing of it. Who do you believe?