INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Those paying close attention knew Luke Rockhold had a knee injury leading up to UFC 199. He was wearing a brace in some pictures. Rockhold also vaguely alluded to the knee being hurt.
On Thursday, though, the UFC middleweight champion revealed the extent of the injury during the UFC 199 pre-fight press conference: he actually tore his MCL.
That's a fairly serious ailment to deal with heading into a fight. Rockhold said it obviously made life difficult in camp.
"I've been dealing with a knee injury," Rockhold said. "I'm not gonna lie. This whole camp. But I don't pull out of fights. I fight through injuries. I don't care what the circumstances are. I tore my MCL. I haven't grappled this whole camp. I just started kicking last week."
Rockhold saying, "I don't pull out of fights" was surely a dig at Chris Weidman, his original UFC 199 opponent and the man he beat for the title at UFC 194 in December. Weidman pulled out of the fight two weeks ago due to a serious neck injury. Rockhold will now meet Bisping, who is coming in on short notice, Saturday here at The Forum.
When Rockhold opened up about the injury, Bisping asked him why he was already making excuses and looking for an "insurance policy."
"I don't need an insurance policy to beat your ass," Rockhold shot back. "I don't need a knee. I don't even need to walk. I'll crawl in that cage and I'll still whoop your ass. Watch."
Rockhold, 31, also dealt with staph infection heading into his fight with Weidman last year. Injuries are something Rockhold has quite a bit of experience with throughout his career. So far, it hasn't upended an outstanding run. And he doesn't plan on that changing this weekend, either.
"You're just an average bloke," Rockhold told Bisping on Thursday. "I'm a f*cking samurai."