Rockhold says he let pressure get to him against Bisping at UFC 199: “I underestimated my opponent and paid for it”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Luke Rockhold has posted a statement to Instagram in reaction to his shocking UFC 199 KO loss to Michael Bisping, admitting that he took the fight lightly and didn’t have enough respect for his challenger. He further commented on the post-fight press conference back and forth, and said he’s coming back after the Middleweight Championship that he lost.

I love the fight game and all that it offers. It’s a chaotic world we live in but the reward far outweighs risk. Allowing the pressure of the situation get to me, I felt the need to preform and make a statement as opposed to staying calculated and winning the fight. I underestimated my opponent and paid for it. Forcing a fight that was unlike me, which left the door open. Credit to Micheal for being the tough guy that he is and capitalizing on the situation. Verbal warfare and fight hype is one thing, but that moment following the outcome of a fight is where a man’s true character shines. After our first fight I picked him up off the canvas and gave him his due respect. Bisping went out of his way to come across the cage not to shake my hand like a man but to further mock the situation. I felt it was a classless move on his part. Thus the reason I was so pissed off at the press conference. I don’t believe in kicking a man while he’s down. I’ve been here before and I’ve always learned and grew from these situations. This will be no different. I will go home, heal up, and come back better than ever before. Bisping, I will see you real soon and I will finish this.

A photo posted by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on

Penick’s Analysis: Rockhold absolutely cost himself. Bisping took full advantage of the situation, and deserves absolute credit for that knockout finish, but even with that finish it’s far from a guarantee that Bisping can repeat it in a rematch. It’s why there’s a reasonable and compelling case for booking the rubber match as the next title fight in the division. Rockhold let his ego get the best of him, there’s no question about that, and if he comes in with a different attitude into the rematch, perhaps he can regain that title. We’ll find out what the UFC wants to do soon enough.

[Photo (c) Jake Roth via USA Today Sports]

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