While current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Michael Bisping heals up from a knee surgery that’s taken longer to heal than expected, Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero will duke it out at UFC 213 on July 8, 2017 for the interim strap.
And it won’t mean a thing, says Bisping, who says interim title fights are pretty much meaningless.
“It doesn't mean anything; interim belts aren't worth the leather they're printed on," Bisping said during an interview with OddsBible (via Flo Combat). "An interim belt is a joke, I defended the belt in October and I've had a bit of a knee issue, but it's the UFC's decision, and if they want to do that, then good for them! All it does is solidify who the number one contender is,” clarified Bisping.
Furthermore, the brash Brit also revealed that UFC president Dana White asked him first if it was okay if they staged an interim title fight.
"They've got to sell pay-per-views. Dana asked me to fight in July, which I said I couldn't as I'd had two knee surgeries at the start of the year and the recovery time hasn't gone to plan,” he added.
“It's taking longer than expected so he asked did I mind an interim title fight so I said do what you've got to do. It doesn't bother me,” concluded “The Count.”
As for who the champ thinks will prove victorious, he’s putting his money on Whittaker, though it’s safe to say his disdain toward “Soldier of God” may have swayed his vote.
As Michael alluded to, the winner will get to face him later this year — assuming this doesn’t get brought back up again — in a title unification bout. After that, Bisping had previously revealed he likely has one more big fight under his belt — preferably in London -- before he puts a bow on his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.