Luke Rockhold has a new opponent for his title defense on June 4 at UFC 199, and it is another former opponent. The UFC announced today that Michael Bisping will be stepping in for the injured Chris Weidman, on two weeks notice, and get a shot at UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold.
Bisping is receiving his first ever title opportunity in a career with the company that has spanned 10 years. This rare chance comes due to a “serious” neck injury suffered by Rockhold’s original opponent, and former champion, Chris Weidman. Weidman revealed the details of his injury today in a post on his Facebook page.
Michael Bisping is Luke Rockhold’s New Opponent at UFC 199
After the news broke yesterday of a new opponent being needed for the main event of the June PPV, several fighters made it known that they would be open to filling the role. Names such as Derek Brunson and Michael Bisping took to social media to make their case. Our own Max Hammer wrote on some of the possible replacements in a piece after the injury made headlines. The top name on UFC president Dana White’s list–and likely #1 contender–was Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. However, White stated in an interview on Sportscenter that “Jacare” was not an option due to a meniscus injury he suffered during his (T)KO victory over Vitor Belfort this past weekend. With that revelation, it seems Bisping’s name value, winning streak and previous bout against the champ made the choice easier for the organization.
This fight will be a rematch of the pairs scrap at a UFC Fight Night in November of 2014. A bout which saw Rockhold won via guillotine choke in the second round.
UFC 199 takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles, California. The card also includes a bantamweight title fight between champion Dominick Cruz as his long-time rival Urijah Faber.