Luke Rockhold believes Michael Bisping should no longer hold the UFC middleweight belt.
It has been a while since both Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping stepped inside the UFC octagon. The former champion last saw action more than a year ago against Bisping where he dropped his title, while “The Count” has not fought since his rematch against Dan Henderson last October.
Rockhold is now slated for his return against David Branch in September for the UFC’s third event in Pittsburgh, and is aiming to get himself back into title contention. But if it were up to him, Bisping should no longer be the champion, based on the fighters he has faced since winning the title.
He is also skeptical about Georges St-Pierre’s condition heading into the scheduled 185-pound title fight on November 4th at UFC 217 in New York City.
“Bisping has fought nobody in the top 10 for the last year-and-a-half and still isn’t going to fight anybody in the top 10,” Rockhold told ESPN. “Where does that put him? I think they should pull the title from guys like that who don’t fight anybody at the top. They pulled the title from [Germaine de Randamie] because she wouldn’t fight the No. 1 contender. Why is this any f–king different?”
“We’ll see if Georges even makes it to the fight,” he continued. “The guy has been out for so long, who knows where his head or his body is at, or if he actually makes it to that date. I’m going to go out and do what I have to do and we’ll see where everything is at that moment in time.”
Rockhold’s layoff was also due to a knee injury in November 2016 that forced him out of his scheduled rematch against “Jacare” Souza in Melbourne. The UFC had been trying to get him a fight since June, but Rockhold says September was the date that made most sense.
“I tried waiting for the right fight, but September is the most logical main event spot. I’m a five-round fighter. That’s what I fight,” Rockhold said. “That’s the true tell of a fighter. They wanted Yoel Romero, I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do Yoel Romero, September 16.’ His camp tried to delay, said they needed three more weeks for a three-round fight specifically.”
“I want to fight a five-round fight. That’s what it is. Everyone knows Yoel has problems going the five. I don’t. I’m not going to force a fight with a guy. I’m not going to leave it up to the judges. I’m going to be technical, I’m going to be solid and I’m going to fight a real man’s fight. There’s a reason championship fights are five rounds.”
UFC Fight Night 116 is scheduled for September 16th at the PPG Paints Arena.