Monday, August 15, 2022

Michael Bisping: “Luke Rockhold Will Not Be My First Defense, That’s A Fact”

Although former champion Luke Rockhold did everything in his power as soon as UFC 199 ended last weekend to attempt to secure an immediate rematch with new champion Michael Bisping, it looks like “The Count” has other plans in mind for the first defense of his UFC 185 pound title.

In speaking with Bret Okamoto of ESPN.com this week, the reigning UFC Middleweight Champion addressed where things stand in terms of plans for his next fight inside the Octagon.

“As of right now, Luke Rockhold will not be my first defense. That’s a fact. I had to go away and beat three more guys before I got a second shot at Luke. Certainly, after his behavior on Saturday, he should have to go away and do the same. He wasn’t even close. And it’s not like Luke beat me, then I beat Luke, so therefore we have to go again right away. The first fight was two years ago. Neither of us were champion then. He became champion, good for him. And I just knocked him out in the first round. Luke’s an incredible fighter. He probably has better technical skill than I do. He’s going to go away and do it the old-fashioned way like I had to.”

Bisping elaborated, explaining that he does have someone in mind for his first title defense, but he isn’t going to name-drop just yet.

“Unfortunately, I’m not going to give you a name. There is someone I’ve got my eye on, but ultimately it’s down to the UFC. I do get a say since I’m the champion, so that’s nice. But I’ve never turned down an opponent and I certainly don’t intend to start as a champion. We’ll see what happens. There’s plenty of viable contenders. Defending the title in the U.K. is certainly something I’d love to do, and I’ve already made it clear to Dana White that I would like to do that.”

Michael Bisping won the UFC Middleweight Championship after waiting years to secure a title shot in the UFC 185-pound division by defeating Luke Rockhold via first-round knockout in the main event of UFC 199 on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

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