Former UFC champion Luke Rockhold sustained yet another brutal knockout loss in his last fight at July 6’s UFC 239.
After knockout losses in two of his last three at middleweight, Rockhold was attempting to reinvent himself at 205 pounds. Instead, Jan Blachowicz floored him in such brutal fashion that Dana White even called for Rockhold to retire. Many have weighed in on that opinion in the time since. Former Rockhold rival Michael Bisping was one of them.
‘The Count’ famously knocked out Rockhold to win the title at 2016’s UFC 199. After two more such defeats, Bisping claimed his former foe was now done in the sport of MMA. He even said he felt bad for the onetime champ. But Bisping has had a change of heart. Speaking on today’s episode of “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” Bisping confirmed he has no hard feelings for Rockhold whatsoever:
“Not only is he not in my weight class anymore, but I’m not competing anymore. So I don’t look at Luke as a rival. I look at him as a human being and I wish him all the best, I really do. Listen, was he a bit of a tool in the lead-up to our fight? Yes. Did he give me tons and tons of ammo to use and make everybody laugh? Yes, he did, and for that, I will thank you. Did he fall to the power of ‘Left Hook Larry?’ Yes, he did, magnificently. And I thank you again for that. So why on earth would I be mad at this person?”
Wishing Rockhold All The Best
Bisping then wished Rockhold the best in whatever he decided to do. He said he doesn’t take solace in watching anyone get knocked out, especially someone on such a streak as Rockhold is. If he were somehow able to rebound and find success, Bisping is fully supportive of it. If he does decide to retire, Bisping wishes him all the best in that regard as well:
“I wish him the best. I admire the skill and technique to knock somebody out, I never enjoy actually seeing somebody get knocked out. And certainly somebody like Luke that had such a great career. To be knocked out three of his last four, you know, listen, I know what that feels like, to lose. So I don’t take pleasure in that, I really don’t. I wish him all the best. If he continues to fight and prove everybody wrong, that would be amazing. And if he retires and hangs it up, then God bless him.”
Bisping isn’t holding any ill will towards his vanquished opponent, which seems to be among the minority of those commenting on the situation. Rockhold’s fighting future is unknown after so many violent losses.
It would be somewhat of a surprise to see him hang the gloves up. However, he does have a second broken jaw from UFC 239 and has undergone serious shin surgery lately. It could be best for him to hang up his gloves, but that’s only for him to decide.
If he does decide to come back and give it another shot, Bisping will be fully supportive.
Do you agree with Bisping’s stance on his former rival?