Michael Bisping was once forced to launch a physical assault on Luke Rockhold as a part of a publicity stunt. Since Rockhold’s initial foe Chris Weidman dropped out due to injury, the two fought on a short-notice title battle at UFC 199.
Bisping, as anticipated, did most of the talking in order to market the war and pique the attention of the audience.
Bisping told BT Sport about an event where he and Luke Rockhold were being filmed over the phone with other fighters at UFC 262 Ceremonial Weigh-Ins. Bisping, irritated by the dull questions, decided to add some flavour to the conversation.
Bisping began talking garbage and abusing Rockhold, but first sent a text message to Luke Rockhold to let him know.
“For UFC 199, we spoke to some journalist. Me, Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber and Luke Rockhold all on the call. And it was boring! It was so boring, the questions were vanilla, the answers were vanilla and I’m like I gotta kick this up a notch, yeah! So I text him.
“I said, ‘Luke, brace yourself mate. Coz I’m coming in hard.’ And I did. I did F* this, S**ew this. Swearing him, calling him every name,” Bisping said.
The rivalry between Rockhold and Bisping is an unfinished chapter of UFC history. In their first fight in 2014, Rockhold submitted Bisping in the second round.
In 2015, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion became the UFC middleweight champion. At UFC 199, ‘The Count’ jumped in on short notice to contest the newly crowned champ and avenged the loss with a first-round knockout.