The two first fought in November 2014 with Rockhold submitting Bisping via guillotine choke early in the second round. Rockhold found himself in a rematch with Bisping at UFC 199 after his original opponent, Chris Weidman, was forced out of the bout due to a neck injury three weeks before the event. Bisping exacted his revenge by knocking out Rockhold in the first round.
Rockhold entered the Octagon for the fist time since his UFC 199 loss to Bisping in June 2016 on Saturday against former two-division World Series of Fighting champion David Branch. He put Branch away in the second frame by technical knockout.
Bipsing is scheduled to face former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre in the UFC 217 main event on November 4 at Madison Square Garden, and Rockhold urged the Canadian to pull out of the title fight following his win over Branch. Rockhold wants to face Bisping in New York instead and plans to be ready if the call comes.
St-Pierre wanted the fight with Bisping for his return to mixed martial arts after stepping way from the sport after defending the 170-pound title for a ninth consecutive time at UFC 167 in November 2013. Rockhold believes “Rush” is in over his head against Bisping and believes he’s headed for a one-sided loss.
“GSP is overmatched. His game plan will not work. He’s going to get stopped. He’s going to be outboxed. He’s too small,” said Rockhold in an interview following his win over Branch.
“He can’t just wrestle. Bisping is going to scramble. He’s going to get up, and he’s going to outbox him. He’s going to outlast him. The size, it’s all going to play a factor. GSP is going to get crushed. Mark my words.”