As you know, Bisping has agreed to face Rockhold on short notice, after Chris Weidman was recently forced to drop out of the June 4th card due to a neck injury. The 37 year-old Bisping has never abandoned his dream of becoming the UFC’s 185 champ, even though he’s suffered several setbacks during his career. One of which, came against Rockhold in 2014, when Bisping lost via submission.
So, due to the abilities of Rockhold, the fact he’s defeated Bisping before, and because of the short notice factor, he’s a huge favorite to defend the title. Recently the UFC held a media call in advance of next Saturday’s event, and Rockhold had this to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Any time you put in a full training camp like this, I want to have an end result,” Rockhold said. “I want to keep myself competing and obviously making dollars. Going out there and getting to shut Mike’s mouth, and getting to shut all these guy’s mouths, all these guys have made excuses — Mike, Chris Weidman, Jacare [Souza]. Guess what, I beat them all. And I’m going to beat them all again, one at a time they’re all going to get theirs.
“Mike, he’s a tough dude, he took this fight, but this will not be his fairy tale. This will be his swansong. This will be the end of him. I am going to go out there and dominate this guy like he’s never been before.”
There you have it. Now, considering Bisping is one of the most resilient and dedicated fighters in the game, it’s hard to imagine him retiring, if he does in fact lose. But, at this stage of the game, and with the middleweight division stacked like it is, you have to wonder if this will be his one and only chance to take the 185 title.
UFC 199 will be hosted by the Forum in Los Angeles, California.