If you’ve been clamoring for the UFC to book a bout between rivals Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold, rest easy friend, as it looks like UFC boss man Dana White has come around to the idea.
Of course, Bisping and Rockhold have made it crystal clear for sometime now, that the two middleweights aren’t exactly big fans of the other. Their beef kicked off after Bisping claimed that he bested Rockhold in a sparring session, and more recently, their rivalry has kicked into high gear.
Following Bisping’s stoppage win over Cung Le last month, the British fighter called for a bout with Rockhold, and then claimed that the latter approached him while he was having coffee with his pops (cue dramatic music). Despite the intense back-and-forth, White relayed that the UFC was looking to match Rockhold up against the #2 ranked Lyoto Machida next, and not Bisping.
Well, evidently White has been tipped off to the buzz the Bisping-Rockhold beef is creating, as the UFC President has apparently changed his tune. While talking to FOX Sports following the weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 50, White was asked by Bisping (who doubles as a FOX commentator) what’s next for Rockhold. Here’s what the ZUFFA exec had to say:
“I like that fight Mike. I like that fight, I like the fight with you two, I know you do and I know he likes that fight too, it’s just a matter of getting it done now. I’m pretty sure we need to get a new deal done with you first and then we’ll make that fight.”
To which “The Count” responded:
“Hey, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Let’s get that signed.”
How about that for a turn around? While any true MMA fan understands that Machida-Rockhold has the potential to be a sick fight, the match-up doesn’t have the same heat behind it as Bisping-Rockhold. It would appear as though White, and or the UFC team, has taken notice of the hype Bisping-Rockhold is creating, and have elected to switch gears.
Now the question is, who will the UFC look to match Machida up next, if indeed, they end up going with Rockhold-Bisping? “UFC Tonight’s” Ariel Helwani reported that Machida’s camp is also thinking about a fight with CB Dollaway. The latter is currently ranked #9 in the UFC’s 185 pound division, and unlike most of the top contenders, he isn’t booked for a fight.