Dana White: Luke Rockhold Will Probably Fight Lyoto Machida, Not Michael Bisping

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IAugust 28, 2014

Apr 26, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA;  Luke Rockhold (top) Tim Boetschat grapple during the first round at Baltimore Arena. Rockhold defeated Boetsch by submission in the first round Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

While a grudge match between UFC middleweights Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping seems ripe for the picking, it looks like the promotion has other plans for the former Strikeforce champion. 

UFC President Dana White told Matt Parrino of UFC.com that Rockhold is poised for a fight with recent middleweight title challenger Lyoto Machida, despite the bad blood brewing between him and Bisping. 

"Anything is possible. Michael Bisping is ranked No. 8 in the world. Rockhold is No. 5,” he said. “They’ll meet each other anyway eventually, but Rockhold has got Machida first.

"We’re looking at Rockhold-Machida in Brazil. That’s what we’re looking at."

Most recently, The Count called out Rockhold after a decisive TKO win over Cung Le at UFC Fight Night 48 on August 23. 

Rockhold has been adamant about settling their grudge inside the Octagon as well, going as far as to say he would donate his entire fight purse to Bisping if he was unable to finish the Brit in the first round, per MMA Fighting

The American Kickboxing Academy product has looking impressive in his past two matchups, scoring first-round finishes over Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch. 

While Bisping has alternated wins and losses since January 2012 (posting a 3-3 record), he remains a Top 10 middleweight on the UFC roster. 

As for Machida, the former UFC light heavyweight titleholder is 2-1 since cutting down to 185 pounds. He lost a five-round classic to champ Chris Weidman at UFC 175 last month. 

According to the UFC's official rankings, Machida is still the No. 2 middleweight in the world. 

Given the current list of middleweight contenders on the UFC roster, does Rockhold vs. Bisping or Rockhold vs. Machida make more sense in the near future?


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.