It wasn’t that long ago when the UFC wasn’t interested in booking Luke Rockhold-Michael Bisping, but since their was a ton of buzz tied to their rivalry, the promotion changed gears. Back in August, UFC President Dana White was talking about Rockhold versus Lyoto Machida, and mentioned the fact that Bisping was several points lower in the rankings while doing so.
Well, now that Rockhold has emphatically taken care of Bisping, there’s no question that the #5 ranked middleweight is headed for a massive fight. But who?
During the post UFC Fight Night 55 press conference, Rockhold was asked about whether he wants to wait for a title shot, or fight a top contender in the interim. The former Strikeforce champ relayed that he’s willing to fight sooner than later, and noted that the scrap between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort is a ways off. Those two won’t fight until February 28th.
As a result, Rockhold mentioned both “Jacare” Souza and Lyoto Machida as possible opponents, who are currently ranked ahead of him at 185. Machida, of course, is set to fight CB Dollaway on December 20th, while Souza currently isn’t booked for a fight.
Rockhold referred to the fact that he’s beaten Souza once before, in his post-fight interview with Dan Hardy, and that could be a fight the UFC looks to schedule. Yoel Romero may be one spot behind Rockhold at #6, but that’s also a fight that would be pretty sweet no?
The 30 year-old Rockhold is currently riding a three fight win streak, which includes stoppage wins over Costas Philippou, Tim Boetsch and now Bisping.
The only man to defeat Rockhold since he joined the UFC is Vitor Belfort. The American Kickboxing Academy vet is 9-1 in his last 10 fights, and also holds a win over the #7 ranked Tim Kennedy during that stretch.
UFC FN 55 went down in Sydney, Australia.