UFC president Dana White made it known pretty clearly that Ronaldo Souza was the top choice to replace Chris Weidman at UFC 199. It’s hard to argue that “Jacare” does not deserve a middleweight title shot against Luke Rockhold with his résumé.
That rematch did not come together, though. Souza turned down the fight due to a knee injury and the UFC moved on. Michael Bisping was the second choice and he happily accepted on two weeks notice.
“Listen, I want this,” Bisping told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “‘Jacare’ speaks all the time about wanting a shot at the belt. Well, it was offered to him on a silver platter and he turned it down.”
Souza told MMA Fighting that he felt pain in his knee a week before a fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 198 earlier this month. An MRI showed a “minor meniscus injury.” Souza didn’t want to fight for the title at anywhere less than 100 percent.
“Everybody knows my desire to fight for the title and, if possible, in a rematch with Rockhold,” Souza said. “However, I can’t let the emotion superimpose the reason.”
Bisping, 37, jumped at the opportunity to take the shot. He has been in the UFC for 10 years and this is his first chance at a title. “The Count” was stunned that “Jacare” didn’t suck it up and get in there against Rockhold on June 4 in Los Angeles.
“I never thought ‘Jacare’ would turn it down,” Bisping said. “Who turns it down? He just destroyed Vitor Belfort. He’s in great shape. Yes, he might have a sore knee. Listen, I’ve got injuries all over the place, but you do it. You fight. The world isn’t perfect. You wait for the ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting