Many UFC fans have wondered how Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold went from bitter rivals to friends, and Jason Parillo has the answers.
Parillo, who trains Rockhold and formerly trained Bisping during his UFC career, has seen their relationship evolve. Rockhold and Bisping fought twice in the UFC, with the most infamous matchup featuring a short-notice knockout by Bisping at UFC 199 for the middleweight title.
Bisping and Rockhold seemed like they’d never be on friendly terms immediately following their UFC 199 headliner. However, the two former champions have surprised the masses in recent years with their mutually respectful behavior.
During a recent interview with The Schmo, Parillo revealed how Rockhold and Bisping formed a friendship and squashed their past beef.
“It goes back to when Luke was Strikeforce champion,” Parillo said of Rockhold and Bisping. “Luke Rockhold was brought in here to work with me one week and I was like, ‘Hey, man, while you’re in town, I got Bisping with a fight coming up see if you wanna move around with him for a little bit?’ That happened, they moved around, they sparred. Bisping talked a little shit, obviously that started the feud with them over the years. But when Bisping retired, he saw Luke was coming in here. I talked to him, ‘You know, Luke’s coming down’. He said ‘I don’t give a shit, it’s cool. I’m not offended by any of it.’
“One day they crossed each other’s paths in shook each other’s hands. I wanted to see out of due respect to the gym that they wouldn’t be two fucking assholes with each other. But at the end of the day, bygones are bygones, it’s all in the past. It’s easier to forget when time heals all wounds, and at the end of the day Bisping has been retired, he’s not looking to fight anybody. It was ugly for a lot of years, but those two were able to be two gentlemen towards each other.”
Rockhold is planning a return to the Octagon later this year against former UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa. He hasn’t competed since a loss to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight back at UFC 239.
Bisping is now one of the most prominent voices in the sport, both in the broadcast booth and in the world of podcasting. It’s nice to see that two of the most heated rivals in the sport’s history have come to terms with their past hostilities.
What is your reaction to Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping becoming friends?