UFC President Dana White just announced that Michael Bisping will finally get his shot at UFC gold when he takes on Luke Rockhold for the Middleweight Championship at UFC 199. Bisping will be taking the fight on less than three weeks notice, but has been clamoring for a title shot for nearly a decade. He will finally get his opportunity on June 4 in Inglewood, California.
Bisping comes into the title fight with three straight wins, including the biggest win of his career; a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva. He also has the second most wins in UFC history, trailing only Georges St-Pierre. For Bisping, this is a title shot that he truly deserved, albeit on short notice.
He was thrust into the title shot after former champ Chris Weidman pulled out of the title fight. Weidman, who lost to Rockhold back in December of 2015, had been granted an immediate rematch to avenge his first career loss. Unfortunately, Weidman had to pull out to deal with a neck injury that will require surgery. According to his own Facebook post, Weidman hopes to return to action for the UFC’s debut at Madison Square Garden in November.
For Rockhold, the new fight with Bisping will be a rematch as well. Back in November of 2014, Rockhold defeated Bisping in pretty dominant fashion, winning by submission in the second round. Rockhold, with a full camp, will be a heavy betting favorite against Bisping coming in on short notice.
White also mentioned that the other likely contender, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, was unable to take the fight with Rockhold due to a meniscus injury. With Vitor Belfort coming off a loss to Souza and Yoel Romero still on suspension, Bisping was clearly the top contender and best option to fill in for Weidman.