TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/27: Bisping would like ‘Motherf**ker’ Luke Rockhold for retirement fight


Michael Bisping after beating Luke Rockhold for the Middlweight Title at UFC 1999 (photo credit Jake Roth © USA Today Sports)

Michael Bisping has tried twice to find an opponent worthy to send him off into retirement, but has yet to land one. But there is still one fighter “The Count” won’t count out: Luke Rockhold in a trilogy fight.

“If that motherf**ker wants to throw down at 205 (pounds),  yeah, we can entertain that, buddy,” Bsiping said on his Believe You Me podcast.

Bisping is coming off back-to-back losses, the first a middleweight title fight against Georges St.-Pierre and then a short-notice bout again Kelvin Gastelum. Rockhold recently suffered a knockout loss to Yoel Romero for the interim title at UFC 221 in Australia.

Things have never been pleasant between Bisping and Rockhold with the former winning their first outing, and Bisping taking the former champ’s title away. A fight at light heavyweight stems in part from Rockhold saying he intended to move up a weight class after his loss to Romero unless a third fight happens with Bisping.

Looks like he might get both wishes. Bisping said he would look forward to another fight and that Rockhold is a completely different fighter.

“I exposed Luke Rockhold,” he said. “I knocked him out. David Branch nearly knocked him out. Yoel knocked him out. I quite literally took his soul, so if he wants me to do it agin, that is one that would stoke the fires so to speak.”


-Ref says Miragliotta should have paused action in Stephens-Emmett bout 

Referee Dan Miragliotta is taking a little bit of hit after not stopping the fight between Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett in their UFC on FOX 28 bout on Saturday.

Stephen his Emmett with what appears to be an illegal knee to a downed opponent, but even in slow motion during multiple replays the consensus is still unclear.

However, referee certification trainer and active referee, Rob Hinds, said that in a situation like this Miragliotta should have at least paused the action to determine if an infraction did occur.

“This is absolutely the toughest part about what we do,” Hinds told MMA Fighting. “With seconds we have to decide was that legal, was that illegal? Do I do something or do I not do something?

“If it was glancing or not, it’s still illegal. At that point, it’s up to the referee to handle that in an appropriate way. If it’s just a verbal warning. ‘Hey, watch the grounded opponent.’ Is it something where we’ll stop and check on this fighter to see if they’re injured by it, what the status is of it, that sort of thing. There are different levels of procedure that we can do. But if you feel as a referee that something happened and you do nothing, that’s the worst.”

-Brian Ortega looking to finish Frankie Edgar at UFC 222

Brian Ortega is confident. So much so, he says that he plans to be the first fighter to ever finish off the nearly unbreakable Frankie Edgar in their featherweight co-main event on Saturday at UFC 222 in Las Vegas.

“This is a great challenge because it puts that extra edge on me,” Ortega said. “Because you know what? This is a guy that’s never been finished. I’m the kind of guy who if you tell me you can’t do something, like, ‘Brian, you can’t do a backflip off that two-floor building’, and I’ve going to give it a shot.

“That’s the way I was as a kid. So if you say ‘hey man, this guy’s never been finished,’ and everyone told me ‘You can’t finish Frankie Edgar, you can’t do this,’ for me it’s like let’s go for it. Let’s see if we can do it.”

Over his 13 fights as a professional, Ortega holds seven submission victories. And is quickly working his way toward a featherweight title fight with champion Max Holloway.

Edgar was originally scheduled to fight Holloway for the belt after he successful defended it against former champion Jose Aldo, but an injury scrapped that bout. Instead Edgar decided to go ahead and keep the date by fight Ortega.

That’s something not lost on the contender.

“I love the fact that’s he’s a down guy to fight no matter what,” Ortega said. “The change of opponents and everything, he’s still there. I’m grateful.”

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/22: White clarifies, Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson is for ‘the’ lightweight title

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