Michael Bisping has spoken at length about the downward trajectory of his former foe Luke Rockhold’s career and the trajectory is has taken in recent times.
Many had pegged Rockhold to turn over a new leaf once he made his intention to move to the 205lb division clear and with a matchup against Jan Blachowicz – a man not exactly known for his punching power, things seemed to be falling into place perfectly for a return to form.
If there were any questions about Jan’s ability to test the often-suspect chin of the former 185lb king, they were answered in emphatic fashion as the Polishman brought the hammer down on Rockhold hard in the second-round, leaving his opponent completely out of it before the referee’s intervention.
Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast, the former UFC middleweight champion cleared the air to those who believe he has been taking pleasure in the downward spiral that his former rival’s career has taken in recent times.
“The amount of messages that people have sent me because everyone seems to think that I’m gonna take pleasure in seeing Luke knocked out like that, and it’s the opposite…the opposite. I really feel for the guy. I do. I feel bad for him. It’s a real shame. Not only did he get his jaw broke, but he’s now been knocked out cold, viciously, in three of his last four fights. And I can’t help but think that he’s done.
“Now that doesn’t mean that he’s gonna be. What he could do is come back and prove everybody wrong, prove me wrong. That’s what I would’ve done. That’s kind of what I did. And if he does that, then my god, he’ll have my respect forever.
“But I gotta say, the writing on the wall looks like his career is over.”
“It’s not only the fact that A, he’s been knocked out three times out of his last four. It’s not only the fact that he’s got a broken jaw, and that’s gonna take some time to heal back from. It’s also the fact that it’s one thing getting knocked out cold once and coming back from that. But when you’ve been knocked out cold three of your last four, I mean, that is some psychological demons to overcome.”
In the wake of Rockhold third defeat in his last four fights, even UFC president Dana White urged the former middleweight champion to hang up his gloves – citing his broken jaw and the punishment he has taken as reasons to call time on his career.
Whether or not he takes heed, remains to be seen.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena