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New champ Michael Bisping ready to talk future after 'mother of all hangovers' clears up

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- What's next for Michael Bisping? Well, probably a few glasses of water and some Advil.

The UFC's new middleweight champion is going to spend some time celebrating his stunning title victory over Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 199 on Sunday before discussing his first challenger.

"I'm just gonna relish this moment," Bisping said at the post-fight press conference. "I'm gonna ride the crest of this wave. I'm gonna have a few drinks. I'm not gonna do a Tim Sylvia and walk around with [the belt] on constantly, but I do envision the mother of all hangovers coming my way pretty soon."

It's too soon to talk his next fight, but Bisping did spend some time gloating over his last one -- that first-round knockout of Rockhold that happened just minutes earlier. "The Count" just wouldn't be "The Count" without a little gloating.

"Some say revenge is sweet," Bisping said. "I disagree. I'd say it's better than sweet."

Rockhold beat Bisping by second-round submission in November 2014. That victory seemed relatively easy for Rockhold, the former Strikeforce champion who ascended to No. 3 on the UFC's official pound-for-pound rankings after beating Chris Weidman for the belt in December. Rockhold was a massive favorite in this rematch, especially given that Weidman was the initial opponent and Bisping had to step in on two weeks notice when Weidman withdrew due to injury.

"This has been a lifetime's work," Bisping said. "And I always felt that I was capable of doing this. I've had my ups and downs along the way and I understand why people didn't believe in me, because I lost some key fights. I accept that. But I knew deep down inside myself that I could always do it."

Rockhold said at the press conference that he wants an immediate rematch and plans to "kill" Bisping in it. Rockhold said Bisping couldn't compete with him if he fights his style of fight. Bisping, of course, could not let that one go unmolested.

"You just said I can't compete with you," Bisping said. "I knocked you out in the first round -- cold. Have you seen that replay, buddy? Your head was bouncing around like a pinball machine. Watch it again. Obviously it didn't sink in."

Bisping, 37, seemed pretty cold to an immediate rematch with Rockhold when it was brought up, though he said he'd be glad to give Rockhold that shot down the road. Someone asked Bisping about Ronaldo Souza being his first challenger and "The Count" seemed to accept.

"I, unlike [Rockhold], don't turn down opponents," Bisping said. "He is the No. 1 contender and I've never turned down a fight in my life. It would be an honor to share the Octagon with him."

Bisping (29-7) got on Rockhold for wanting to fight him and not "Jacare" this week. Souza couldn't take the fight due to a knee injury anyway, but Rockhold made it clear that he wanted a rematch with Bisping. Bisping said Rockhold chose wrong.

The Brit, now the first fighter form the United Kingdom to win a UFC title, was right. And he reminded everyone of that even before sitting down at the press conference. After 10 years of just trying to get a UFC title shot, the veteran is now the champion after one of the biggest upsets in MMA title history.

"I do believe in destiny," Bisping said. "I do believe in the universe pulling it all together. I've worked my like towards this. I've worked tirelessly. I've worked very hard. I've made a lot of sacrifices."

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