Luke Rockhold had some threatening words for one of the UFC’s longest tenured stars, but not the one you’d expect.
In the post-fight interview following his second-round submission win over David Branch in the main event of UFC Pittsburgh on Saturday, Rockhold made it clear that he wants a shot to regain the UFC middleweight championship sooner rather than later, and he did so with a threat aimed at upcoming title challenger Georges St-Pierre.
Known for being arguably the greatest MMA fighter ever at 170 pounds, St-Pierre is scheduled to end a four-year hiatus by moving up a weight class to fight current 185-pound champion Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y.
Rockhold believes he’s the man who should be getting that title shot instead.
“GSP. I don’t know what I need to do,” Rockhold said. “You want me to beat some sense into you? You don’t belong here. You’re gonna get crushed. You better back out. Get out of this thing while you still can. This is my fight. This is my fight and I’ll be there sooner than you motherf**ker. Let’s go.”
It’s understandable that Rockhold would want to take St-Pierre’s place at UFC 217, given his history with Bisping. It was “The Count” who knocked Rockhold out in June 2016 to claim the middleweight belt and Rockhold has been chomping at the bit for a rematch ever since.
Should either Bisping or GSP be unable to compete come Nov. 4, it sounds like Rockhold is waiting in the wings to take his place in the main event.
“I’m ready to go. I got no injuries,” Rockhold said. “I’ll be ready for November. Don’t embarrass yourself GSP, just back out, let me take this thing. It’s my fight.”