Michael Bisping is laying out the path to victory or defeat for his old foe-turned friend Luke Rockhold.
Luke Rockhold is returning from a three-year layoff to fight in the co-main event of UFc 278 this Saturday night. He will be taking on number six ranked Paulo Costa in his return fight. Rockhold is a former UFC champion at 185 pounds, but before his break from competition, Rockhold had trouble finding a win. His last two fights before his brief “retirement” were both losses. He lost three of his last four, including losing the belt to Michael Bisping.
Bisping knows Rockhold very well, he beat him in a title fight and since then the two have become friends. He is now giving his thoughts on this co-main event matchup and broke it down on his YouTube channel.
Michael Bisping has some words of wisdom for his former Luke Rockhold
“My old friend Luke Rockhold is back in action this weekend at UFC 278. He’s fighting in the co-main event of the pay-per-vie and I gotta say, I really respect Luke Rockhold for taking this fight and going up against Paulo Costa,” Bisping said. “The last time Luke Rockhold stepped foot in the Octagon was July 6, 2019, over three years ago, so you could say there’s going to be a bit of ring rust, there’s going to be some anxiety, there’s going to be some nerves, but there’s also been time to heal and trying to find his thirst and love and passion for the sport to see what he’s been missing.”
Bisping was in a similar place as Rockhold is now. He lost his title and lost a few fights in a row before deciding to walk away. The only difference is that Bisping has stayed away, Rockhold is still looking for that title back. He has stated that if he wins this fight the only acceptable next step would be the title fight against Israel Adesanya. Those are lofty goals but Bisping believes that if Rockhold’s chin can hold up he can be a force to be reckoned with in the division.
“Can you take a shot? If you can take a shot? I think Rockhold wins,” he said. “I think he’s probably the better fighter. But if he can’t take his shot, his chin is gone. Then it’s the end of the game. The game is up for Rockhold if he can’t take a shot if he gets knocked out. It’s over. So what do you think? I’m leaning towards Costa I think but I’m not confident. I don’t know.”
Since Bisping’s fighting days are through, he has spent more time on the UFC analyst desk. He will not be in the job this weekend for UFC 278 but will surely be watching the action in his former division. The cage side team will include Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier.