Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has talked about making the UFC’ London event on March 17 the site of his farewell fight.
Consider rival Luke Rockhold uninterested.
Rockhold and Bisping have famously split a pair of fights -- Rockhold winning their first fight via submission in 2014, and Bisping knocking out Rockhold to win the title two years later -- and have engaged in countless rounds of verbal sparring.
But Rockhold isn’t interested in settling things with a trilogy fight, for two reasons: One, he’s got an eye on regaining the middleweight belt, and two, Bisping doesn’t appear to be in any position to fight so soon.
“Of course it would be sweet to shut that guy’s mouth,” Rockhold said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “It never stops no matter what the situation is. But it’s not on my radar any more. He’s taken himself out of the conversation, I want to move forward and fight for the belt.”
After a very bad November for Bisping, he’s not a fighter who can help Rockhold get close to the title. Bisping lost the belt to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 in New York City, when he went unconscious rather than tap out. He was controversially cleared to fight Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks later in Shanghai, China, where he was on the wrong end of a violent knockout.
For his part, Rockhold questions why those around Bisping even allowed him to be put in position to suffer the loss to Gastelum.
“I think that’s f*cking ridiculous for Bisping to come back after getting knocked out two weeks before,” Rockhold said. “Just because it’s in China, where there’s no commission, to allow that. I mean, New York would never allow that in the States. I mean, for his family, his friends, his team whoever the f*ck is in his corner. It’s sad. It’s said that he has that type of people around him that allow him to do something like that.”
That said, Rockhold also doesn’t believe that Gastelum vaulted ahead of him in the race for a title shot due to the win over Bisping. Nor is he interested in meeting Gastleum, who was finished by Chris Weidman in July, in a title eliminator bout.
“I will be ready to fight when it makes sense,” Rockhold said. “I’ll keep apace. But it’s got to make sense. I’ll tell you who doesn’t make sense. Kelvin Gastelum does not make sense. Weidman has more of a case.”