The hatred between current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former champ Luke Rockhold is still very much alive.
The pair initially met back in November of 2014, where Rockhold won the fight via second-round submission, however, in their rematch last October, Bisping paid the Californian back with a first-round knockout win to take the UFC middleweight throne Rockhold had won from Chris Weidman at UFC 194 back in December of 2015.
Bisping has gone on to defend his title against a then-No. 14-ranked Dan Henderson (now retired) and is scheduled to make his second title defense against the returning Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 from Madison Square Garden on November 4th. Recently in an interview with ESPN, Rockhold called for Bisping to be stripped of the 185-pound title due to his reluctance to defend against elite competition, and isn’t too pleased with “Rush’s” immediate title shot:
“Bisping has fought nobody in the top 10 for the last year-and-a-half and still isn’t going to fight anybody in the top 10. Where does that put him? I think they should pull the title from guys like that who don’t fight anybody at the top. They pulled the title from (Germaine de Randamie) because she wouldn’t fight the No. 1 contender. Why is this any (expletive) different?”
Bisping caught wind of these comments and took to his podcast, Believe You Me, to respond to Rockhold (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Here’s a guy that’s out there campaigning for me to be stripped. Campaigning for the guy that knocked him out cold to be stripped, rather than saying, ‘Listen, let me fight him, let me get a rematch, let me beat him.’ He’s asking the UFC to strip me. First of all, they did an interim title fight, as we all know.
“Now Robert Whittaker is injured. I feel like I make this point all the time, but I accepted a fight against Yoel (Romer) or Whittaker, who are both the No. 1 and the No. 2 contenders. Whoever won that fight is supposed to fight me, Whittaker won and he’s injured, so shut the (expletive) up.”
“The Count” then laid out his future plans, vowing to defeat St-Pierre at UFC 217 before going on to defend his championship against interim middleweight title holder Robbert Whittaker. He then made little of Rockhold’s upcoming fight against former World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) light heavyweight and middleweight champ David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116:
“I’m going to fight Georges St-Pierre, it’s going to be great, everyone is going to love it. It’s going to be an awesome fight, and then I’m going to fight Robert Whittaker, who is the No. 1 contender. It’s not going to be you, Luke Rockhold, that got knocked the (expletive) out cold in three minutes. Your head was bouncing around like a (expletive) pinball machine. You’re fighting David Branch.
“I don’t know who David Branch is. By all accounts he’s a very tough guy, coming off another organization. … Shut the (expletive) up, go fight Billy No-name and win. Get yourself back in the title talk, buddy. Don’t talk (expletive) from the sidelines. … You are a joke. Luke Rockhold, you are a (expletive) joke, you are a vagina. You got a problem, come and see me.”