Officially, Robert Whittaker is just the UFC’s interim middleweight champion, but not in the eyes of Luke Rockhold.
Whittaker laid claim to the interim title this past July, by earning a decision over top contender, Yoel Romero. The bout was put together, since the current champ, Michael Bisping, was sidelined with a knee injury. The British star hasn’t competed since last October, when he earned a decision win over Dan Henderson, in what was Bisping’s first title defense (following his KO win over Rockhold in June to become champ).
Well, if you follow Rockhold, then you know he’s not a big fan of Bisping. You also know that he’s outraged by the fact that the UFC has tapped former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, to face Bisping in his second title defense.
Case in point, following Rockhold’s win over David Branch this past weekend, he called on GSP to drop out of the bout and let him face Bisping. In addition, Rockhold also had this to say, about the aforementioned, Whittaker (quote via MMA Junkie):
“Whittaker is definitely an interesting fight,” Rockhold said. “I think he’s the true champion right now – the man who fights the fights that count, other than some poser up there running away with the belt.”
Even if you’re a big Bisping fan, there’s no denying that Whittaker has been ridiculously impressive as of late. Not only did he defeat Romero to win the interim title, but before that, he finished “Jacare” Souza, who’s another of the most dangerous middleweights in the game.
Since the winner of Bisping – GSP is expected to face Whittaker next, the expectation is that Rockhold will be booked for another fight in the interim. The UFC had plans for Rockhold – Weidman II in the past, but clearly the former champ isn’t interested in that match-up right now:
“Chris Weidman’s lost three in a row,” said Rockhold, although, it should be noted that Weidman is coming off a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum. “That doesn’t make much sense at this point. I’d rather not do that again at the moment.”
There you have it. It will be interesting to see what comes next for Rockhold. Recently “Jacare’s” manager reported he believes his client will fight Weidman next.