When Luke Rockhold lost the UFC middleweight title to Michael Bisping last year, no one could have predicted the whirlwind that would follow. Bisping, the eternal also-ran in the division, became champion over a division with a backlog of viable title contenders. But instead of setting to the work of knocking off those contenders, Bisping first defended his title against Dan Henderson and now, will defend his belt against Georges St-Pierre later this year. The decision by the UFC to pass over more qualified contenders in exchange for more marquee matchups has infuriated much of the division.
Chief among those angered is the former champion. During his recent appearance on UFC Tonight, Rockhold spoke about the UFC’s decision to not make Bisping fight the top contenders and why it has ruffled so many feathers.
“It’s chaos. I think they’re running down a slippery slope. I think things could easily get out of hand. You never know what these guys are gonna do. Georges isn’t gonna fight anybody in the top of our division if he wins this fight. Bisping could potentially be in the same boat. So I’m bummed they took this route. It’s kind of taken away from the heart of the sport. It’s about the top guys fighting each other. This isn’t WWE, this is fighting. This is what it’s all about so when they make moves like this it definitely makes you question a lot of things in what you’re doing and how you approach things.”
It’s a sentiment that most of the top contenders share, with Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, and Chris Weidman making similar comments over the past few months. Romero is the one most affected by the UFC’s decision to book Bisping vs. St-Pierre as he was promised a title shot by UFC President Dana White after knocking out Weidman at UFC 205. Now with the advent of this new title fight, the top contenders are being forced to make other arrangements, with Romero potentially sitting out until his due chance comes.
Rockhold has other ideas though. If a rubber match with Bisping isn’t in the cards for him, the former champion says there’s another score he’d like to settle, one with former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.
“Everyone’s steaming over this new fight I brought up. I think me and Werdum got some old beef from Strikeforce. He’s a guy I’ve always wanted to fight. I’ve thought it through and I like the style matchup.
“Given what’s going on in the middleweight division right now, screw that, I’m coming to heavyweight. Let’s do this.”
Rockhold and Werdum have had bad blood with one another dating back to their time together in Strikeforce, and on the most recent edition of The MMA Hour, Werdum addressed the beef, calling Rockhold a “b**ch” and saying he celebrated when Bisping knocked Rockhold out by opening a bottle of champagne. These comments certainly haven’t worked to bury the hatchet between the two, and with Werdum currently in need of a new opponent after his scheduled fight with Ben Rothwell fell through due to a potential USADA violation by Rothwell, Rockhold is ready to jump on the “money fight” bandwagon.
“They’re into making money fights right? They want to make a money fight, sell some tickets - let’s do this thing.”
If you can’t beat them, join them.
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Something very serious that’s worthy of acknowledgment. If you need help, please get it.
A free fight for the Spanish speaking crowd.
UFC Rankings report got Forrest in an Adidas shirt...
“My UFC 205 PPV points hit today so I’m in a great mood.” T-Wood is great.
Bob Arum definitely knows a thing or two about standing in the way of making fun fights.
Zahabi Q and A.
Video of a fighter choking out a referee after being KO’d.
DC talking about his upcoming title defense with Andre Ward.
The MMA Circus.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Werdum’s manager doesn’t seem to be into the fight.
Gerald Harris trying to make it back to the show.
I sincerely doubt this will make Conor want to fight him.
@da_MONSOON congratulations and welcome to the family! Look forward to seeing you doing work with sponsors on your shorts again!— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) March 22, 2017
I would love to make a movie or be on a tv show I know I have more to offer then just punching stuff I protected my face all these years— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) March 8, 2017
The truth is, I'd be your FIFTH loss in a row. You shoulda been cut after #3. No wonder you'd rather have a reality TV show than a fight lol https://t.co/ZrUGDOwANZ— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) March 22, 2017
@LaurenMurphyMMA lol it's actually comically you believe your own lies. You are a disgrace to female athlete with your ugly attitude— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) March 22, 2017
@jessicaevileye what lies? Im on the roster and still in USADA. When I get a fight I get a new contract. Tell me again why you're not cut?— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) March 22, 2017
@LaurenMurphyMMA ok well then get a fight! they don't want me vs you idiot. Stop trying to make it seem like I am turning it down.— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) March 22, 2017
Sticking with the gimmick.
Lot of ugh here.
And this... this is just the absolute worst.
Check the leg kicks.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: Dan Henderson knocked out Mauricio Rua in their much anticipated rematch at UFC Fight Night 38.
Read this incredible piece by my friend Tim Bissell over at Bloody Elbow. You’ll be better for it.
Take it easy everybody and see y’all tomorrow.
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