Luke Rockhold may be the UFC betting favorite, but Michael Bisping would probably win a spelling bee contest between the two. It took all of one minute into the UFC 199 press conference call before middleweight champ Rockhold and No. 1 contender Bisping began to hurl insults and engaged in an ugly shouting match. Rockhold beat Bisping by second round guillotine choke when they first fought in 2014.
The UFC title will be up for grabs when they meet again on June 4th. Mention of that first bout came up right away after Rockhold said that he would finish Bisping even more quickly in the rematch in Los Angeles. Rockhold went so far as claiming that he would have defeated Bisping quicker in the first fight if he had accepted a bet where he attempted to wager his purse against his opponent’s before the contest.
Bisping claimed he has no recollection the wager – best leave that to UFC betting experts – but had no problem firing back at him wanting to get the same pay as him. Bisping said his purse is at least double Rockhold’s. I would make a comment about two grown men – and MMA fighters at that – arguing over purses, but people who bet on UFC are not interested in my opinion. The verbal sparring continued after Rockhold took shots at Bisping and every other middleweight challenger who has been waiting for an opportunity at the title ever since he won it last December.
Rockhold has defeated all three top challengers in the division – Bisping, Chris Weidman and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. However, like many people who bet on UFC, they all believe the outcome will be much different the second time around. Rockhold begs to differ. Rockhold doubled down on his comments when he directed another venom-filled prediction at 10-year UFC veteran Bisping, saying that he won’t just defeat him at UFC 199, but he is going to humiliate him. Bisping, who took the match on just two weeks’ notice after Chris Weidman pulled out the card due to injury, countered by saying that Rockhold can’t spell the word humiliation.
The back-and-forth oral duel continued all through the conference call, with each fighter talking over the other at some points during the 45-minute session. Obviously neither fighter lacks confidence, and Rockhold promised that Bisping’s first UFC title fight will also be his last. Bisping reminded Rockhold that all the pressure is on his shoulders; he’s the defending champion with all the UFC betting odds on his side.
If Rockhold loses to a fighter who accepted the fight on two weeks’ notice, Bisping can’t even imagine how ridiculed he will be. Rockhold and Bisping will have another chance to cross words next week when they come face to face at the UFC 199 pre-fight press conference prior to the card on Saturday night, June 4th at the Forum in Inglewood, California.