UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will be defending his title against former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, much to the disappointment of 185 lbs contenders such as Yoel Romero, plus former champions Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold.
For what it’s worth from Romero’s perspective, Dana White said that the UFC will “obviously take care of Yoel.” Meanwhile, Ronaldo Souza will be fighting Robert Whittaker in April, Weidman will face Gegard Mousasi one week prior to Jacare-Whittaker, and Rockhold is without a fight, having pulled out of a UFC main event vs. Jacare in November due to an injury.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Rockhold addressed the UFC’s decision to book Bisping-GSP, and unsurprisingly, he’s not a fan of the matchmaking.
“Unfortunate that they took the route they took,” Rockhold said. “I understand the business and I understand what they’re doing but I don’t think they’re really thinking ahead in making this fight. I think there’s a lot of better options other than tying up the division and making this thing happen. I don’t think Bisping’s a draw. He hasn’t proven to be a draw, so what’s the point of putting GSP in there with him, a man that’s never obviously fought at middleweight and has been out for three years? I think him (GSP) and Nick Diaz, I think him Anderson Silva, I think there’s a lot of other fights that make the money they need and then sells that without doing what they had to do.”
As for how the fight affects him and the middleweight division, his views are as you would expect given where he sits atop the rankings, one fight removed from the shock loss to Bisping.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Rockhold said. “I don’t know what to say right now. I’m not here to dance around, I’m not here to fight chumps and just do my thing. I’m coming right back for the title. And seeing this play out the way it has, it’s quite frustrating, I’m not gonna lie. So I’m taking my time.”
There’s no official date set for Bisping vs. St-Pierre, although it will happen in the second-half of the year. Rockhold believes that should GSP get the win over Bisping, he won’t be facing the likes of Romero, Jacare, or himself.
“He’s not gonna fight one of the top contenders, I guarantee you that,” Rockhold said. “He won’t fight one, he won’t fight two and he won’t fight three, guarantee it.”
The 32-year-old Rockhold is angling to make his return in July, which would be a 13-month gap between fights for him. You can listen to his full interview with Submission Radio at the top of the page.