At one time not long ago, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold were training partners helping each other prepare for fights. Now there appears to be a growing rivalry between the two middleweight contenders.
It was back in December 2012 when Rockhold's name was brought up to Bisping while he was doing an interview with MMA Uncensored Live about some of the champions from Strikeforce being brought in as No. 1 contenders on day one in the UFC.
Bisping, who has a wealth of UFC experience, took exception to that idea and even divulged a little inside info about his training sessions with the best middleweight in Strikeforce.
"Let me put it like this, I've sparred with Luke Rockhold recently and let's just say I'm the unofficial Strikeforce champion," said Bisping. "These are the facts."
Needless to say, Rockhold didn't enjoy hearing that from Bisping, but at that point he was still in Strikeforce awaiting the time when he could make his UFC debut.
Rockhold finally did step into the Octagon earlier this month, but things didn't go his way because he found himself on the wrong end of a spinning back kick from Vitor Belfort that sent him crashing to the mat for a knockout loss.
Now just weeks later, Rockhold is anxious to get back in action and decided to take to Twitter to make a challenge to Bisping to perhaps see who really would win if the two competitors faced off in the Octagon.
Luke Rockhold @LukeRockhold
@bisping u dont have opponent, I dont have opponent, u talk shit about "practice" i say we set the record straight once & for all @danawhite5/28/2013, 5:24:15 PM
It didn't take long for Bisping to answer the challenge—although there's little doubt it wasn't the answer Rockhold was looking to hear.
@LukeRockhold @danawhite I say you go and win a fight in the UFC then we can talk.5/28/2013, 6:09:27 PM
Bisping also fell victim to a head-kick knockout from Belfort back in January, but since that time returned to form with a victory over Alan Belcher at UFC 159 in April.
Typically the UFC doesn't match up a fighter coming off a win with a fighter coming off a loss anyway, and it appears Bisping isn't too interested in a fight with Rockhold right now regardless of wins or losses.
Bisping remains one of the top draws in the UFC, and has been gunning for a middleweight title shot for years, falling just short of achieving that dream several times.
Whether Bisping gets Rockhold or another fight, it's likely the Brit will target a late summer show to return to the UFC with several cards filling up currently for August and September.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
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