Michael Bisping beat Luke Rockhold and took his UFC middleweight title at UFC 194 on 4 June 2016. Bisping defended the belt just four months later, vs. Dan Henderson. While Hendo was outside the top 10, the fight was a fan favorite. Bisping next defense will be against welterweight G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre, who has not fought since 2013. And GSP says he will be ready to fight, after October. And then who ever wins needs to recover before defending the belt; however, it is widely believed if GSP wins he will give up the belt.
The end result of all this is that no one in the division’s top 10 will get a title shot within say an 18 month period or more. That’s not good for business, and not it’s fair to the fighters. Rockhold has not fought since the loss, but wants to be in a position where he is fighting towards a title shot, as he explained during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour.
“It’s lacking motivation.” he said, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “There’s nothing I want more than to get into a fight, but when you fight, there has got to be a goal. I fight to be the best, win titles, and get that championship belt. That’s what it’s all about. There’s no path to that, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so what’s the f***ing point?”
“If they fight in October, Bisping wouldn’t have fought a contender in a year and a half holding the belt. Potentially two years if he ever does fight a contender. It’s becoming pretty ridiculous. There is just no point, especially in this division and I’m open to moving division if I have to.”
“I’ve been offered a fight and I don’t understand it, exactly. They offered me Mousasi and they haven’t even signed Mousasi yet. How do I sign a contract when the guy is not even signed to the company? It’s interesting, I like the fight, but I’m not going to go fight the best guys in the world without getting closer to a title, or a title shot. I want my shot at the belt and I’m not just going to keep fighting these guys for nothing.”
“But, we’ll see what happens. If they put a title on the line, an interim title, or make the champion actually fight a contender then I’d actually be happy to sign for a fight and moving forward and do something. Until then, you have Yoel Romero waiting for a title shot, you got the Whittaker kid thinking he’s in line for a title shot, Mousasi is the only one who is talking about fighting right now.”
“I don’t need to fight, I’m building a house, I got other things going on, I want to fight, but, it’s got to be right. The time has to be right. We are the heart and soul of the division, every guy in the division is not fighting. Everybody is waiting for a title shot and Mousasi is the only one pushing to make a fight happen.”
“If they get their s*** together and make something happen, I’ll be glad to sign a fight, but they need to f***ing straighten their s*** out and make something happen.
“The company is kind of losing it these days. I don’t know what happened to the old company where the best fighters fought the best and what built this company. Now they just, it’s a spectator sport, they are just putting freak shows together.”
“If it’s just money fights, I’ll do that somewhere else, f***. You can let me go of my contract and I can go fight big money fights somewhere else. I’m here in this company to fight for titles, and if there is no path to that, I’m out, let me go.”