Luke Rockhold has been extremely critical of the UFC in recent months, and following Demian Maia’s win this past weekend, Dana White took the opportunity to fire back.
Not only has Rockhold made it clear he’s not happy with how much the UFC is paying him, the former middleweight champ was angered by the promotion’s initial decision to have Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre. So much so, in fact, Rockhold even called on his fellow contenders to hold out, if the UFC didn’t put up an interim 185 title or cancel the Bisping – GSP bout.
Now, White has since announced that Yoel Romero, and not GSP, will face Bisping next. But, this past weekend, while discussing Maia’s title shot, cinching win, White had this to say about Rockhold (quote via MMA Mania):
“Listen, I was thinking about this when I talked to some of the media here yesterday: A lot of the guys are talking about deserve, deserve, nobody deserves anything. You have to earn it here, you know what I’m saying?”
“These guys want to sit around, you got Rockhold screaming, “I deserve this…’ you got knocked out in the first round, you don’t deserve anything, you have to earn it and Maia earned it,” added White.
Chances are Rockhold boosters would note here that the AKA fighter did submit Bisping in 2014, which is why a rubber match was in order. But, all this aside, it’s clear that Rockhold will need to score at least one, maybe two, big wins, before he’s challenging for the 185 title again.
If you missed UFC 211, Maia worked his way to a split decision win over Jorge Masvidal, and in doing so, recorded his seventh straight win. As a result, White has told Maia he will challenge welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley next.