A month removed from his brutal knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221, Luke Rockhold is already looking ahead to his looming return to action. And he has a possible opponent lined up.
According to the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion of the world, the wheels are slowly turning for a trilogy fight against Michael Bisping.
“If it’s on the table, I am going to have to put that to the front of the line. He is going to have to back up what he just said and I would be very willing to take the fight anywhere, anytime,” proclaimed Luke during a recent interview on The MMA Hour.
Luke and Bisping split their first two encounters, with Rockhold defeating “The Count” back in 2014 via submission. Michael eventually got his revenge two years later by knocking him out at UFC 199 to win the division title.
For Rockhold, the dream scenario would be to fight at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018, and if he had his way, the fight would take place at Light Heavyweight.
“I have a little break, a little time, but I should be cleared by International Fight Week, early summer. That’s good retirement stage for Bisping, and a good return for me. Why don’t we do this in style and sign on the dotted line. I know this is a fight UFC is pursuing, so let’s see if Bisping can back up his mouth once again,” he said. “Let’s make it a little more intriguing and bring it to 205. This is in discussion. If I heard correctly, he better back it up. This excites me very much.”
Luke teased a move up to 205 pounds prior to his loss to “Soldier of God,” and since Bisping began his career in that weight class, it wouldn’t be anything new to the former 185-pound king.
Plus there is this.
Furthermore, Luke says he will no longer fight at Middleweight, saying the weight cut is getting to be too much for him. That said, he had a message for Alexander Gustafsson, who called him out while he was still trying to clear the cobwebs.
“I like it, but I think it was pretty petty coming after me so early. I don’t know if he is trying to get under ‘DC’s’ skin, but, I will be coming. I will be coming to 205; I am going to handle my business with Bisping, and you better be damn sure I am coming for that ass, too.”
You’ve been warned, “Mauler.”