Luke Rockhold wants Michael Bisping to put his money where his mouth is, and he is even willing to throw his own money into the fray.
"He wouldn't take my bet," Rockhold said. "The bet was if I finish him in one round, we switch purses. And if I don't finish him in one round -- one round -- he gets my purse. Show and win, everything."
It's quite a boast from Rockhold given the impression Bisping left in his most recent outing, a dominant performance against former Strikeforce star Cung Le. Bisping battered Le for the better part of four rounds before finally getting the stoppage.
Le's face after the fight was the most telling image of Bisping's performance.
It was a great showing by Bisping, only four months removed from a dreadful showing against Tim Kennedy that had a lot of MMA fans wondering how much the Englishman had left in his tank.
Despite the solid showing against Le, Rockhold wasn't impressed by Bisping's performance.
"What, by his pitter-patter?" Rockhold asked flatly. "No. Not impressed by Bisping whatsoever, nothing he does. He's the most unflexible MMA fighter I've ever seen in my life. Did you see some of those kicks he threw?"
Rockhold and Bisping's rivalry has been budding for years, but the two men were always in different promotions. And when both were finally under the UFC umbrella, Rockhold lost his UFC debut while Bisping lost to Kennedy.
Now, with Rockhold reminding fans of how good he is capable of being by dispatching Tim Boetsch and Bisping putting on a great performance, the time might be right for the two men to face one another.
The fact that Rockhold would forgo a fight with highly ranked Lyoto Machida that could lead to a UFC title shot in favor of a grudge match with Bisping lets you know the animosity between these two is real. Rockhold explained to Helwani that he's recovering from a knee injury and is about two or three weeks away from being back at 100 percent.
That could set both men to face off at UFC 181, which is set up to be the last pay-per-view event of 2014 for the UFC. In previous years, the UFC has typically made it a point to put high-profile fights on to cap off the last card of the year. With Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort facing one another in the main event, a Bisping-Rockhold fight would do a lot to help clear out the muddled middleweight title picture.
The extra trash talk between Bisping and Rockhold combined with the rivalry between Weidman and Belfort would undoubtedly lead to an impressive showing in terms of pay-per-view buys, something the UFC is desperate for.
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