Fresh from his stunning knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221, Luke Rockhold has confirmed that the UFC are working on setting up a trilogy fight with Michael Bisping.
Speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Rockhold has claimed that a third bout with the man who took the middleweight title from him at UFC 199 is “in discussion”.
“You know that’s a fight that, if it’s on the table, I’m gonna have to put that at the front of the line before I do anything else,” Rockhold said. “If he can back up what he just said, I’ll be very willing to take that fight any where, any time.”
Bisping has hinted many times that he is looking for one final fight to close out his decorated career. After two fights, he and Rockhold are tied with one win each and the idea of finally settling their rivalry seems to appeal to both fighters.
With both of their previous bouts taking place at middleweight, Rockhold is eager to settle the score at 205lbs rather than making the tough cut down to 185lbs again.
“Let’s make it a little more intriguing,” Rockhold said. “Let’s bring it to 205.”
The two former champions have a long history, with no love lost between either fighter. The fight would be an easy sell to many fans. While it closes the book on Bisping’s career, it would open the door for the next phase of Rockhold’s as a light heavyweight.
“Why don’t we do this thing in style?” Rockhold said. “Let’s sign on the bottom line. … I know this is a fight the UFC is pursuing. So, we’ll see. We’ll see if Bisping can back up his mouth once again.”
The rumoured match up is the latest in a long line of potential final fights for Bisping. Previous attempts by the UFC to book fights with Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort ultimately came to nothing. With Rockhold claiming he is prepared to sign the contract, the emphasis is very much on Bisping to decide if this is the fight he wants to end his UFC career with.