Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold hasn’t competed since he lost the title to current champion Michael Bisping at UFC 199.
The former champion would like an interim middleweight title to be created after the recent booking of the middleweight champion.
“An interim title is very justified at this point,” Rockhold said to TSN. “Two irrelevant title fights back-to-back is stupid. (Bisping vs.) Dan (Henderson) was one thing, but [Bisping vs. St-Pierre] is a joke. An interim title is a guarantee at a title shot; that’s what I see. You want guarantees. If you’re gonna fight the best guys in the world, I want a guarantee I’m going to fight for the title. We’ve worked our asses off, we’ve earned the spot.”
Bisping and GSP will be fighting later this year, an exact date for the fight has yet to be announced.
UFC President Dana White, during the UFC 210 post-fight press conference, addressed the request made by Rockhold.
“Luke should really wait for his next shot at something, next fight or something, because that’s kind of a ridiculous statement,” White said. “Not only is Bisping ready and willing to defend the title, he’s waiting on GSP right now. And he also said, ‘As soon as this GSP fight is over, if I win the title again, I will defend against Romero immediately.’ So no.”
There is only one other interim champion in the UFC and that is UFC Interim Featherweight Champion Max Holloway, who faces Jose Aldo at UFC 212.