Luke Rockhold Wants Trilogy Fight With Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping

At this time last year, Luke Rockhold was on top of the world as he was beating the best fighters in the UFC’s middleweight division and was the reigning UFC middleweight champion. At the time, the most pressing question was when he would have his rematch with former champ Chris Weidman.

That rematch never happened as Weidman was injured and Michael Bisping agreed to fight Rockhold at UFC 199 for the middleweight title, which led to Bisping scoring a stunning knockout to win the title. Since then, Bisping has fought Dan Henderson and Rockhold has been on the sidelines with a knee injury. Now that Rockhold is healed up, he wants to fight Bisping, title or not. Bisping is expected to defend his title against top contender Yoel Romero next and if Bisping loses the title, Rockhold would rather fight Bisping than for the title.

“I want Bisping,” Rockhold said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “There’s no way around it. I’m not going to give that up. That one doesn’t sit that well with me and I’m going to have to go out and find him no matter, title or not title, I will not let that pass. I’ll finish that. If he does lose, I’ll take a step back and avoid the title and go after that first. I’m not letting that man squeak by and keep running his mouth.”

Rockhold admits that it’s been frustrating to sit on the sidelines but noted that he doesn’t believe that the pecking order has changed much since he was fighting.

“I think Bisping is a coward and he’s running and trying to look for irrelevant fights,” Rockhold said. “I think Jacare is right where he was before I left. Anderson [Silva], he came back, he did his thing. I haven’t seen much else. I think everyone sees how the division is playing, and how Bisping is stalling and is trying to do everything he can work around fighting one of the top guys,” Rockhold continued. “You have to expect that it should take awhile for a chance to come up, given Yoel is first.”

During that time, Rockhold, who submitted Bisping in their first fight back in 2014, has to live what went down last June, which was a knockout loss. Although Rockhold is a tough guy, he admitted that it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

“It doesn’t sit well with me,” said Rockhold, who has targeted an early-summer return from his knee injury. “If anyone knows me, that’s not going to sit well with me and it kind of frustrated me and that’s why I’ve gone off to travel and distract myself. I’m trying to get healthy but I know that I can’t go in there without my weapons, I would almost cheat myself to go on without the left kick in that fight and I finally realized it and I tried to dance around it. … I gotta go in with my tools, and I can’t f*ck around. I have to go in there and show what’s mine.”