Last week, the UFC middleweight picture was clear.
Michael Bisping was the champion. #2 Chris Weidman was scheduled to fight #4 Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. And #3 Jacare Souza was scheduled to fight #1 Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 101 on Nov. 26, 2016, in Melbourne, Australia.
Whoever won most compellingly would get a shot at Bisping.
However, The Count knew that former welterweight Georges St-Pierre wanted to return at 206 on December 10, and called him out, noting that neither of the top four contenders would be ready in time. When that appeared to be off the table, Bisping called out Nick Diaz.
Then Rockhold got injured, and Jacare’s team called out Bisping. The Count declined, and explained why on FOX Sports 1’s UFC Tonight.
“I’ve never ducked anybody in my life,” said Bisping, as transcribed by the excellent but unfortunately auto-play heavy MMAjunkie. “Now I know what everybody at home is going to say. ‘Didn’t you call out ‘GSP’ a couple of weeks ago?’ Yes I did, but really, think about this: That was a massive payday. roughly $3-4 million dollars I would have earned for that fight. Against ‘Jacare,’ I’m going to get around about a quarter.
“As you all know, I fought Dan Henderson very recently. I have a fractured orbital. I’m getting PRP [platelet rich plasma] injections. I don’t know what they are, but it sounds fancy. I’m getting them on Friday in my leg. I’m limping around the place, I’ve got a fractured orbital.”
“Yoel and Weidman, they are fighting. Whoever wins that, either that guy or ‘Jacare’ will be my next fight make no mistake. But I’m not doing it in a few weeks. My name isn’t ‘Short Camp Sally,’ it’s Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping, UFC middleweight champion of the world. And you will get it ‘Jacare,’ and you will get it Yoel, Weidman, Rockhold, all of you. Make no mistake.”