Before former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold ever graced the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, Michael Bisping claimed he got the best of him in sparring sessions during an appearance on MMA Uncensored Live.
"Luke Rockhold? By all accounts he and Lorenz Larkin should fight and the winner of that fight -- if not both of them -- go over to the UFC. Are they gonna come over and be number one contenders? I don't think so. You're in Strikeforce, come over to the UFC and earn your place. Let me put it like this: I've sparred with Luke Rockhold recently and let's just say I'm the unofficial Strikeforce champion. Sorry Luke, but these are the facts."
Those claims were made almost six months ago with not one rebuttal or denial from Rockhold.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout took to his Twitter account today (May 28, 2013) and did what seems to be the popular thing to do these days, and that's challenge Bisping to a fight, saying he wants to settle their beef, once and for all:
And while Rockhold wants the brash Brit to walk the walk after talking the talk, "The Count" isn't too thrilled about the potential match-up, saying the Strikeforce import needs to earn a win inside the Octagon before he starts calling people out:
While UFC matchmakers don't typically match up a fighter coming off a loss against a fighter coming off a win, they do, however, seem to have a habit of pairing up fighters that suffered their last defeat to the same person.
Both Rockhold and Bisping fell victim to Vitor Belfort's improved kicking game as "The Phenom" crushed "The Count's" title hopes with a head kick at UFC on FX 7 earlier this year while Luke suffered the same fate at UFC on FX 8 four months later.
And it's safe to say Belfort's knockout of the former Strikeforce champion was a bit more impressive.
While his recent win over Alan Belcher at UFC 159 won't exactly push Bisping back into title contention, a win over a former champ in Rockhold could further help his cause. On the flip side, a win for Luke over a seasoned veteran like Bisping could help him erase the horrible memory that was his UFC debut.
And though the British brawler isn't too keen on the pairing, at the end of the day, UFC matchmaker extraordinaire Joe Silva has the final say.
Make em' bang, bro!