The middleweights squared off in November, 2014, and Rockhold finished Bisping with a second round, guillotine choke. Since then, Rockhold’s gone on to defeat Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman, and is the reigning champ. Bisping, meanwhile, has fought three times since that bout, and has scored wins over CB Dollaway, Thales Leites and most recently, the legendary Anderson Silva.
Recently the UFC held a media call to promote the June 4th card, and during it, Rockhold opined the following about Bisping (quote via MMAJunkie.com):
“I already have an understanding of what he can bring to the table,” Rockhold said. “If you’re smart you study up and you have an understanding of what you’re in for going into these fights. But there are always a couple variables where you don’t know exactly how you’re going to feel. I know what Bisping does through and through. I haven’t seen too much change. I don’t think he’s declined, but I haven’t seen much get better, and he’s about to find out that I’ve taken my game to another dimension.”
It’s an interesting question–at 37 year’s old, has Bisping become a better fighter since he fought Rockhold in 2014? Since the British fighter is known to be a workhorse in the gym, it’s hard to imagine he hasn’t added some new tricks and techniques to his arsenal. Bisping certainly showcased some high level boxing against Silva, who is one of the more unorthodox and elusive strikers in the game.
The biq question is, however, has Bisping improved enough? And will he able to hang in there, considering he’s facing the champ on short notice?
UFC 199 will take place in Inglewood, California at the Forum.