Luke Rockhold wants his next fight to earn him a shot at the middleweight title, and he has a list of fighter he thinks will get him that opportunity.
But if Rockhold can pick who to fight based on a desire to handle a personal vendetta, it would be Michael Bisping.
“Bisping’s a guy that opened his mouth and he’s still running it,” Kennedy said at the UFC 172 post-fight press conference. “I don’t think Tim Kennedy closed it yet, so I’d love to shut him up for good.”
Immediately following his win over Tim Boetsch on the evening's main card, Rockhold said he desired a rematch with Vitor Belfort. The two faced off at a recent UFC Fight Night card in Brazil, and Belfort knocked Rockhold out in the first round.
The loss is one Rockhold said he'd like to get back, but UFC president Dana White said Belfort first has to clear up a situation the fighter has in Nevada.
“Vitor’s gotta clear up his Las Vegas issues,” White said, referring to Belfort's recent drug test with Nevada. The results of that test are yet to be made public.
The other contender is none other than former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who suffered a gruesome leg break against Chris Weidman at UFC 168 last December. Silva is planning to return to fighting by year's end, White said, and Rockhold liked the idea of a potential match-up with “The Spider.”
“He’ll be back at the end of the year for sure,” White proclaimed.
Regardless of the next fight, though — whether it be against Belfort, Silva, or a grudge match with Bisping — Rockhold reiterated that he wants to earn his shot at gold, and he wants to do it against the toughest competition he can get his gloves on.
“Looking at the division right now,” Rockhold said. “There’s not much ahead of me that’s active. Anderson’s out, Vitor — who knows when he’s coming back. I want that fight.”
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