After winning the UFC middleweight championship by defeating Chris Weidman at UFC 194 back in December of 2015, Rockhold was set to have a rematch with Weidman at UFC 199 in June of 2016.
Unfortunately, Weidman sustained an injury during training camp and was unable to fight at UFC 199, leading the UFC to select Michael Bisping as a last minute fill-in opponent for Rockhold just two weeks before the fight. When the pair stepped into the Octagon for their highly anticipated rematch, it took just minutes for Bisping to knock Rockhold out cold and claim the UFC middleweight championship.
Towards the end of 2016, Rockhold was slated to fight Jacare Souza in what many believed to be a #1 contender fight. Unfortunately for the former champ, he was forced out of the fight with an injury, and has been absent from the Octagon since.
He spoke to TMZ in a recent interview to discuss his next fight, saying:
“ASK MOUSASI, THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT. I LIKE IT. IT’S JUST A MATTER OF…HE’S A MAN OF PRINCIPLE, SO I GIVE HIM SOME CREDIT, HE’S GOING TO WAIT AND SEE THE BEST OFFER. CAN’T FAULT A MAN FOR THAT, BUT I THINK THAT’S THE FIGHT THAT MAKES SENSE RIGHT NOW.”
In regards to Michael Bisping, Rockhold stated:
“IS HE GONNA FIGHT ANYBODY IN THE DIVISION THATS WORTHWHILE. I’M JUST GONNA DO MY THING, I’M GONNA FIGHT WHEN I HAVE TO FIGHT. I’M LOOKING FOR A FIGHT. OF COURSE I WANT A 3RD FIGHT WITH MICHAEL.”
“I’M TRAINING. I’LL BE READY. SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOEL, WHITTAKER, I’LL BE READY TO FILL IN TOO.”
Only time will tell whether Rockhold and Bisping will share the Octagon once again.
This article fist appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/8/2017.