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Rockhold: Neither Bisping or Georges St-Pierre will defend middleweight title

Luke Rockhold doesn’t think Michael Bisping or Georges St-Pierre have any interest in defending the belt.

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has teased at retirement after UFC 217, and Georges St-Pierre is rumored to call out MMA superstar Conor McGregor, according to his teammate.

Luke Rockhold, who has been heavily critical of the match-up between Bisping and St-Pierre, thinks both fighters are looking for money fights and accused ‘The Count’ of running away.

“I don’t believe Bisping will, either,” Rockhold said when asked by Ariel Helwani whether he thinks GSP will defend the title if he wins at UFC 217 (h/t Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting). “He’s ran this far. He’s finally gonna come up and get a payday. Either way, I don’t think either one fights any of us.”

Bisping claims that he was going to fight newly-crowned interim champion Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout until it was revealed that ‘The Reaper’ sustained an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the year.

St-Pierre, 36, said on The MMA Hour that he’s contractually obliged the defend the 185-pound belt should he dethrone Bisping, but Rockhold thinks the former welterweight champ is out of his element.

“GSP, he’s overstepping his boundaries. He’s jumping into a world that he’s not ready for. I mean, even if he were to win this fight, he’s unprepared to fight any of us. That’s not gonna happen. It just doesn’t make any sense. And it’s annoying. It’s what we all worked for, is to get to that title. To have that thing held hostage is frustrating. The direction this company is going, just feeding the people this bullshit. I fight to get the title, I fight to be the best. There’s two of them out there and I’m trying to hunt one down. So, obviously Bisping is my first priority. If not, Whittaker is there.”

Rockhold believes Bisping is ‘scared’ and that his time is running out.

“He’s nervous, he’s scared. He knows his time is limited. He’s gonna have to run. I’m gonna be there. I’m gonna put myself on that stage, on that doorstep. He’s gonna have to make a choice.”

Rockhold, 32, returned to the Octagon after a 15-month hiatus and forced former WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight champ David Branch to tap to strikes at UFC Fight Night 116. The Californian is currently ranked as the No. 2 middleweight contender in the world.

Bisping, 38, will defend his 185-pound title against St-Pierre at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden, New York.