Michael Bisping took home the middleweight championship in 2016 with great ceremony after knocking Luke Rockhold out after a quarrelsome build-up. If there were a video dictionary and you looked up the idiom, “Rubbing it in,” a clip of a Michael Bisping interview immediately following UFC 199 would pop up. But that gloating has an expiration date, even with the bad blood between the two. For Bisping, the satisfaction of seeing Luke Rockhold knocked out only applies to when he is the one doing it. And now after two others have joined this club, the only thing Bisping feels for Rockhold is genuine pity:
“The amount of messages that people have sent me because everyone seems to think that I’m gonna take pleasure in seeing Luke knocked out like that, and it’s the opposite…the opposite. I really feel for the guy. I do,” Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast. “I feel bad for him. It’s a real shame. Not only did he get his jaw broke, but he’s now been knocked out cold, viciously, in three of his last four fights. And I can’t help but think that he’s done.
“Now that doesn’t mean that he’s gonna be. What he could do is come back and prove everybody wrong, prove me wrong. That’s what I would’ve done. That’s kind of what I did. And if he does that, then my god, he’ll have my respect forever.
“But I gotta say, the writing on the wall looks like his career is over.”
Michael Bisping argues that Luke Rockhold attempting to avoid getting knocked out for the fourth time in five fights is not necessarily something that the former middleweight champion is incapable of doing, but the hurdles in the way of doing it transcend the physical capabilities:
“It’s not only the fact that A, he’s been knocked out three times out of his last four,” Bisping continued. “It’s not only the fact that he’s got a broken jaw, and that’s gonna take some time to heal back from. It’s also the fact that it’s one thing getting knocked out cold once and coming back from that. But when you’ve been knocked out cold three of your last four, I mean, that is some psychological demons to overcome.”
Do you agree with Michael Bisping? Is Luke Rockhold done?