Michael Bisping shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on Saturday evening at UFC 199 in California by knocking out Luke Rockhold in the first round to become the UFC Middleweight champion and the latter has admitted that he never paid his opponent enough respect during the fight.
Bisping is 37-years-old and Saturday was his first attempt to win a title. The British fighter, who took the fight on two weeks’ notice, made short work of Rockhold, winning with a knockout after just three minutes and 36 seconds.
It was a huge upset that few saw coming.
In the aftermath of the fight, Rockhold dismissed the notion that the knee problems he experienced in preparation for UFC 199 were to blame for his defeat and instead explained that he got lured into an attempt at an early knock-out and that is ultimately what cost him on the night.
“It was just underestimating Bisping,” Rockhold started.
“It had nothing to do with my knee. It was just underestimating and over-committing with a jab. It was stupid, I just didn’t feel like he had anything for me and I should’ve just been the guy I should be. Fight the way (I do).
“I reached in with a jab and I faded out with my chin wide open and he lunged in and caught me on the top of my chin. I felt like I was going to control the fight, but, he caught me.
“I’d love nothing more than a rematch, I’d love nothing more than to get my belt back.”
Rockhold might just get that wish. In the post-fight press-conference, Bisping revealed that he felt Rockhold deserved an opportunity to claim back his belt.
“Luke definitely deserves a third fight, let’s be honest. He’s an incredible champion. He’s, pound-for-pound, one of the best in the world,” Bisping said.