At one point in time, UFC fans felt that Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold would never be on friendly terms. But just like the sport they competed against each other in, unpredictability is the name of the game.

Bisping retired following back-to-back losses to Georges St-Pierre and Kelvin Gastelum, back has transitioned into one of the best voices in UFC broadcasting. Rockhold was expected to make his return at UFC 268 next month but recently withdrew due to an injury.

Bisping and Rockhold have quite the history with one another, dating back to their fights in 2014 and 2016. During a recent interview, Bisping praised his bitter rival in the midst of his disappointing news.

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“I was really looking forward to that fight,” Bisping said. “I don’t know who would’ve won, I would’ve put my money on Luke because Luke was fired up. Luke wants to be the champion again, and he wants to get back that respect. A lot of people, even fans and other fighters, aren’t giving Luke the respect that he deserves. He definitely deserves respect, let me tell you, 100%.”

“Listen, sometimes he says dumb stuff, but the man is a formidable fighter. He’s a force to deal with inside the Octagon.”

Five years after their infamous UFC 199 bout, Michael Bisping wants fans to start showing respect for Luke Rockhold’s accolades

Luke Rockhold left the fight game for nearly two years after losing to Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 239. He would move back down to middleweight for a fight with Sean Strickland at UFC 268 before the fight was called off.

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Bisping and Rockhold’s careers will always be linked to one another, and it’s nice to see them bury the hatchet and show genuine respect.

What is your reaction to Michael Bisping’s comments about Luke Rockhold?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.