Former UFC middleweight champion Rockhold wants to fight the winner of Michael Bisping vs. St-Pierre, which will be five rounds at UFC 217 for the 185-pound title. But Rockhold also doesn’t think the former welterweight titleholder should be fighting up a weight class and urged St-Pierre to back out of the fight.
“Now I’m coming for that belt,” Rockhold said in his post-fight interview on Saturday night. “GSP, I don’t know what I need to do; you want me to beat some sense into you? You don’t belong here. You’re gonna get crushed. Better back out; get out of this thing while you still can. This is my fight.”
Rockhold said he’ll be available to fight in two months, which would line him up perfectly for UFC 217.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “I got no injuries. I’ll be ready for November. Don’t embarrass yourself, GSP. Just back out. Let me take this thing. It’s my fight.”
Many fighters, including Rockhold, have criticized the Bisping vs. St-Pierre pairing. St-Pierre, one of the greatest fighters of all time, hasn’t fought since 2013 and is jumping ahead of Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, and Rockhold, among others, for the next title shot.
Rockhold, before defeating Branch on Sept. 16 in Pittsburgh, hadn’t fought since a June 2016 loss to Bisping. That was Rockhold’s first attempted title defense — it took place at UFC 199 — but as a large betting favorite, he was knocked out in the first round.