Florian: Bisping built blueprint to beat Rockhold
Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold returned to the Octagon Saturday night, for the first time since losing his title to Michael Bisping. Rockhold looked utterly dominant on the ground, and to David Branch vulnerable standing.
On the latest Anik and Florian podcast, former title contender Kenny Florian said Bisping built a blueprint to beat Rockhold, and the AKA fighter has yet to correct it.
“If you lost that fight to Michael Bisping, you have to be looking at not the fact that you took him lightly, but the technical errors you made in that fight,” said Florian, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “He’s done this throughout his career and now people are onto it. Michael Bisping has set a blueprint on how to beat Luke Rockhold and he didn’t address the issue.
“[If I’m Rockhold], I’ve got to keep my hands up. If I am hitting that right hook, I’ve got to pivot or do something to make sure I don’t get hit again because he’s moving straight back and he’s a little bit lazy with that lead right hand which is something I used to do so I know all about that. I think he will address it eventually and it will make him a much better fighter.”
“I think that Rockhold is tremendous on the ground; the way he places his body distribution, his knowledge of position is phenomenal. David Branch is a Renzo Gracie black belt . . . David Branch is very good and Rockhold made it look pretty easy on the mat and I think a lot of was from Branch being mentally broken but also a great deal of it was the skill on the ground from Luke Rockhold.”
After the fight Rockhold asked welterweight G.O.A.T. Georges St-Pierre to step aside from his title shot vs. Bisping on November 4, 2017. Barring an injury, that’s not happening, so Florian has a different suggestion.
“I think a fight against Yoel Romero,” said Florian. “If everything plays out the way it should, let’s say Michael Bisping goes on to defend the belt, he gets that next shot against Whittaker, then [Rockhold] fights someone like Romero. I think that’s something that might make sense.”