UFC rivalry turns nasty

Michael Bisping (right) insults Luke Rockhold during a press conference after their fight at UFC 199. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Bisping (right) insults Luke Rockhold during a press conference after their fight at UFC 199. Photo / Getty Images

It is hard to deny that UFC 199 showcased exactly why fans love mixed martial arts.
Producing three knockouts on the main card, and another three in the preliminary bouts, there was no shortage of excitement.

The main event of the night saw the changing of the guard for the franchise's middleweight champion, as Michael Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold with a stiff left hook in the first round.

Bisping had agreed to fight Rockhold on just 17 days notice, after former middleweight champion and top contender Chris Weidman cited injury as the reason for withdrawing from a title fight rematch.

The Englishman's defeat of Rockhold comes as even more of a shock considering the fighters' history. Bisping, who had never before been given a title fight in almost 10 years in the UFC, was beaten by Rockhold in late 2014 with a second round submission.

It was American Rockhold's first defence of the title since taking the belt off Weidman in December last year.

It's only fitting, then, that a card as exhilarating as UFC 199 would be followed by a press conference that dishes out just as much flare.

Rockhold and Bisping clearly weren't satisfied with their short time in the cage, and continued their affray in front of the media with a heated exchange of expletives.

The defeated champion started the press conference by explaining just how he had managed to lose to a fighter he perceives as being below him, shortly before Bisping entered the room, beer in hand.

"I believe I had control of that fight from the beginning, I just overcommitted and he caught me," Rockhold said.

"Bisping is a tough dude, I've always said it. He's a warrior, he will hang in there. But I just obviously didn't respect him enough, I was overcommitting and I tried something I usually don't do...

"I guess destiny is real, but it's not going to last very long... I'm still on top of this game. I guarantee, you give me this re-match, I will put this man away, just like I did the first time.

"I knew what he was capable of. I know this game is crazy, and I know its MMA and anything can happen."

One reporter mentioned Chris Weidman's reaction when losing the belt to Rockhold in December, claiming he was frustrated having lost to Rockhold as opposed to any other middleweight, which seemed to ignite something in the 31-year-old.

"Try losing it to Michael Bisping," Rockhold said.

"God. That guy is such a dick. I mean you show your true colours after a fight, and that f***ing guy comes up to me and says 'you know who you are'."

As Bisping entered, a reporter brought him up to speed, before the media lost control of any order.

Read the transcript of the post fight press conference confrontation, or watch the video from the 11:40 min mark, below.

ROCKHOLD: "I picked (him) up off the canvas and gave (him) respect (last time). That guy is a piece of s***, and I want to f***ing come and kill him next time round. He's just a f***ing maggot."

BISPING: "You can't keep a good man down, hate to say I told you so. Some say revenge is sweet. I disagree, I think it's better than sweet. Luke, come on buddy. When the shoe was on the other foot, I leaned over and thanked you and this moment in time and said 'well done'."

ROCKHOLD: "Yeah and I actually picked you up off the canvas. You, being the dick that you are, came up to me and was a bitch about it."

BISPING: "I shook your hand, and you said 'I already shook your hand' and told me to f*** off basically... Hey buddy you got knocked out. You got knocked the f*** out buddy. Sit down, shut up. First round buddy. What an asshole guys!"

ROCKHOLD: "I will come back and f***ing kill you. You enjoy your short-lived destiny my friend."

BISPING: "It is my destiny. My destiny, not your destiny. You're not doing yourself any favours. You are an incredible fight Luke, you really are, and I congratulate you for making me step up my game to come at you. But don't be a dick."

ROCKHOLD: "If I go out there and fight my fight, this man can't compete with me."

BISPING: "Did I just hear you say I can't compete with you? Is that what I heard? You just said I can't compete with you. I just knocked you out in the first round. Have you seen that replay buddy? Your head was bouncing around like a pinball machine."

Bring on the re-match.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 27 Feb 2017 22:02:33 Processing Time: 539ms