The middleweight title picture is currently a bit chaotic, as reigning champ Michael Bisping is poised to defend his title against Georges St-Pierre, a former welterweight champion who has never fought at middleweight before. Unsurprisingly, this news has not gone over well with the many more deserving contenders at middleweight, such as former champ Luke Rockhold.
In a recent interview with TSN (via BloodyElbow.com), Rockhold explained that he believes this controversial middleweight title fight has created a need for an interim title fight to keep the contendership conversation moving properly.
“An interim title is very justified at this point,” he said. “Two irrelevant title fights back-to-back is stupid. [Bisping vs. Dan Henderson] was one thing, but [Bisping vs. St-Pierre] is a joke.”
“An interim title is a guarantee at a title shot; that’s what I see,” Rockhold elaborated. “You want guarantees. If you’re gonna fight the best guys in the world, I want a guarantee I’m going to fight for the title. We’ve worked our asses off, we’ve earned the spot.”
“If that was on the table, I’d gladly take it,” he continued. “And I think [Yoel Romero] feels the same way.”
According to UFC President Dana White, however, this probably isn’t going to happen.
“Luke should really wait for his next shot at something, next fight or something, because that’s kind of a ridiculous statement,” he said at the UFC 210 pos-fight press conference (via TSN.ca). “Not only is Bisping ready and willing to defend the title, he’s waiting on GSP right now. And he also said, ‘As soon as this GSP fight is over, if I win the title again, I will defend against Romero immediately.’ So no.”
Do you think Luke Rockhold – or any other top middleweight contenders – should be given a shot at an interim middleweight title? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/10/2017.