Mike Bisping and Luke Rockhold shared a tense rivalry that spanned years of both men’s UFC careers and ended up with them both walking away with a win over the other. They first met in 2014 during one of the first few fights of Rockhold’s UFC career after he moved over to the promotion as the reigning Strikeforce Middleweight world champion. He stumbled in his debut against a TRT-infused Vitor Belfort but quickly rallied to register two impressive finishes against Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch, while Bisping was alternating wins and losses for his last six fights at the time.
It didn’t take long for Luke Rockhold to finish his opponent as he wrapped up a tight guillotine against Mike Bisping and managed to force him to tap within the first minute of the second-round. After that fight, both men beat every opponent they fought in win-streaks that led them to very high places. Rockhold went on to win the UFC Middleweight world championship by dismantling Chris Weidman and knocking him out in the fourth-round, while Bisping took on the legendary Anderson Silva and won a hard-fought but close decision victory.
Rockhold was originally scheduled to have an immediate rematch against Weidman but when the latter was forced out due to injury, Bisping dutifully stepped in on just 17 day’s notice to get his rematch against Rockhold with the title on the line. That’s when history was made as Bisping became the first English UFC world champion by returning the favor and knocking out Rockhold in the first-round. Fate has ensured that their rivalry would stay at 1-1 as Bisping has now retired and Rockhold has decided to move up to the Light-Heavyweight division after another unsuccessful attempt at holding the Middleweight title.
Despite their tense rivalry during their UFC careers, it appears that there’s no hard feelings between the two men whatsoever as Bisping recently uploaded a video to his official Instagram account that showed him training with Rockhold at RCVA Sport. One moment in particular stands out where Bisping dives for a rolling Toehold and you can see the look of surprise on Rockhold’s face that quickly turns to a smile in respect for Bisping’s grappling ability.