Luke Rockhold: Michael Bisping ‘is a guy who needs to get his mouth shut’

Feb 17, 2014, 9:43 PM | Updated: 9:44 pm

UFC middleweight fighter Luke Rockhold is one of the best fighters on the planet. With some of the best kickboxing in the division to go along with an incredibly underrated ground game, the American Kickboxing Academy product laid waste to the Strikeforce 185-pound division during his four-year run in the organization.

Too bad for those fight fans that refuse to acknowledge fighters who compete outside the mothership that is known as the UFC: The lasting image they have of Rockhold is being on the receiving end of a vicious Vitor Belfort head kick.

But following Rockhold’s absolute destruction of Costas Philippou at UFC Fight Night 35, which ended with him landing a devastating kick to his opponents liver, UFC fans began to realize what they had been missing the last seven years.

With all eyes on him, Rockhold wasted little time, saying it “would be nice” to face fellow middleweight contender Michael Bisping next.

Fight fans will remember Bisping for his disparaging comments regarding the slew of incoming fighters following the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce back in 2012. During an interview on SPIKE’s MMA Uncensored Live, Bisping dismissed Rockhold and his fellow Strikeforce fighters as viable contenders and even went on to declare himself the “unofficial Strikeforce champion.”

“Let me put it like this: I’ve sparred with Luke Rockhold recently, and let’s just say I’m the unofficial Strikeforce champion. Sorry, Luke, but these are the facts,” Bisping said.

Now, more than a year later, those comments are still fresh in Rockhold’s mind.

Appearing on the Power MMA Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Rockhold did not hold back his feelings for the “The Count.”

“I don’t go out talk trash unless it’s warranted, and Bisping has gone out of his way on national television to talk some trash and basically tell some lies,” said Rockhold. “I’d definitely like to tell the real story about what went down in that sparring session…I think it was a tasteless joke and I don’t have respect for that.”

But for now, Rockhold said he is focused solely on his upcoming matchup against Tim Boetsch at UFC 172.

While he is confident in his ability to finish the iron-willed Boetsch, Rockhold said he is most certainly not taking his opponent lightly, specifically pointing to the “The Barbarian’s” ability to absorb a tremendous amount of damage.

“I believe I’m better than him pretty much everywhere,” Rockhold said. “But Boetsch has a lot of heart, and he’s a tough dude, so I have to respect that…I just have to be smart, train hard and go out and go in there and do my thing.

“Ideally, I just kick him in the liver, he goes down and we call it a night. I’ll get me a ‘Performance of the night’ bonus and go back to Arizona so we can celebrate.”

But a future matchup with Bisping is never far from Rockhold’s mind, and while both men already have their next bouts lined up, Rockhold revealed if he and Bisping make it through their next fights unscathed, he would welcome the chance to be the one to finally close the mouth of the brash-talking Brit.

“It just gives me a chance to wake him up, and I love that. Bisping is a guy who needs to get his mouth shut, Rockhold said. “So I think as long as everything goes well and I win my fight and if he somehow gets past Tim Kennedy, which will be a tough test, I think there’s a good possibility of us meeting up.”

Penguin Air


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Luke Rockhold: Michael Bisping ‘is a guy who needs to get his mouth shut’