Friday, September 30, 2022

Bisping Gives Inside Information On Rockhold’s UFC 278 Prep

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has revealed some inside information about two-time opponent Luke Rockhold’s pre-fight preparation ahead of UFC 278.

This weekend, Rockhold, who held the 185-pound gold seven years ago, will make the walk to the Octagon for the first time since 2019. Back then, the Californian ventured to light heavyweight, where he was brutally knocked out by Jan Blachowicz — a result that marked his third KO setback in four fights.

Now, following a lengthy layoff and period of consideration for his future in the sport, Rockhold is ready to return to the middleweight division for another push for the title.

Having decided upon a comeback, Rockhold has been thrown right into the mix, with the 37-year-old set to face Brazilian powerhouse Paulo Costa on the UFC 278 main card this Saturday in Utah.

Ahead of his return, Rockhold has been adamant in claiming that his hunger to compete is back and that his motivation is as high as ever, something he claims to have discovered in the gym.

But it’s been revealed by a man close to Rockhold’s camp that his preparation may not have been completely ideal.

Bisping: Rockold Has Had Good & Bad Days

During BT Sport’s UFC 278 Preview Show, Bisping, who dethroned Rockhold with a first-round KO in 2016, broke down his former opponent’s upcoming return.

Having seen Rockhold training with his own former coach, Jason Parillo, Bisping noted the shape that the American is in, and suggested that his fellow former champ hasn’t lost a step when it comes to speed.

“Chins do have an expiration date. Has he reached that or is he just taking massive shots off massive punchers? We don’t know… This is a dangerous fight for Luke Rockhold,” Bisping said. “But I see him in the gym and I see what he’s doing. He’s still got it. He’s still fast as ever. He’s still as explosive. The problem is motivation. Has he still got it? He’s not a spring chicken.”

However, “The Count” added that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

Given his relationship with Coach Parillo, Bisping gets a unique insight into the preparation of his fighters, and in terms of Rockhold, there’s been ups and downs. According to the Brit, Rockhold has had a mixed bag during camp and hasn’t been sparring enough for Parillo’s liking.

“I wasn’t gonna say any of this stuff. Me and Jason Parillo are obviously very, very close… He tells me some things,” Bisping noted. “And I don’t wanna betray the circle of trust, so to speak, but what good is it me being on here and knowing all this stuff but not saying it… No, I’m gonna spill the beans.

“He’s been training, but there’s been good days and bad days. He hasn’t been consistently pushing himself throughout it. One of the things that Jason says is obviously he’s looking good here and there, but he hasn’t been sparring enough,” Bisping continued. “Sparring is key… I think Rockhold needs to spar. I think he needs to blow off some of those cobwebs.”

It’s safe to say that Rockhold will need to utilize every bit of his pre-fight work when he shares the Octagon with Costa, who recorded 11 knockouts in 13 wins prior to his failed title challenge in 2020.

With his weight seemingly not being an issue this time around following his debacle last year, “Borrachinha” looks ready for his own attempt to rebound on August 20.

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 278, Luke Rockhold or Paulo Costa?

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