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10th Mar 2017

Set-ups don’t come much easier for Michael Bisping than this Luke Rockhold faux pas


Ben Kiely

Luke Rockhold wants his belt back, but he’s going to have to join a queue that’s starting to get a little long.

Imagine how it must feel to be the Luke Rockhold sitting on the sidelines watching what Michael Bisping has been doing since becoming the undisputed champion of the world.

After ‘The Count’ rendered Rockhold unconscious at UFC 199, he’s gone on to defend his belt against legendary fighter Dan Henderson in a stadium event in Manchester and more recently, he’s booked himself a fight against arguably the greatest fighter ever, Georges St-Pierre.

During that entire period, Rockhold hasn’t been seen inside the Octagon. His terrible luck with injuries has meant he hasn’t had a chance to return yet.

Rockhold was expected to return in a title eliminator against ‘Jacare’ last autumn, but injury saw that one fall through. ‘Jacare’ went on to fight and beat Tim Boetsch instead and now has a bout lined up against Robert Whittaker.

With Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi also booked to throw down, the only top 185lber available is Yoel Romero. ‘The Soldier of God’ could well wait and see how Bisping vs. St-Pierre plays out before making his next move, as the champion already promised a quick turnaround to give the streaking middleweight a crack at the title.

At the moment, Rockhold doesn’t have anyone to call out, and when that happens, you always take aim at the champion which is exactly what he did on a recent appearance on Submission Radio.

“I’m taking a detour. I’m going straight for Bisping’s ass. He’s been running his mouth, he’s been talking and avoiding every fight possible. That’s the fight I would pursue – shut him up, move on. There’s nothing more to be done.”

It doesn’t take a genius to predict which line Bisping would hone in on for his inevitable response. It was almost as if Rockhold wanted to get burned this time around.

Rockhold did all the work, Bisping just did exactly what you would expect him to do.