Michael Bisping explains how he and Luke Rockhold ended their rivalry five years after dramatic UFC 199 title fight

Michael Bisping has revealed how he and Luke Rockhold managed to finally end their rivalry more than five years after their dramatic UFC middleweight title fight.

The Brit stepped up on short notice after Chris Weidman withdrew at The Forum in California to take place in the main event of UFC 199, with few giving him a shot.

Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold in their rematch at UFC 199 to claim the middleweight world title
Getty Images – Getty

Just 18 months after being submitted by Rockhold and having taken the fight on just 17 days’ notice, Bisping knocked out the American to become the new middleweight champion of the world after 24 UFC fights.

The bad blood between the pair continued after the press conference, with Bisping mocking his fallen foe in front of the watching media.

For years, it seemed as though the two would never squash their beef – that is until Bisping’s former coach Jason Parillo posted a video of the two men working out together.

Speaking before UFC 263 in Glendale in Arizona, Bisping explained how the two men finally put their differences aside after years of spite.

Bisping and Rockhold held an intense dislike for one another before they first met in 2014
‘The Count’ is now a regular UFC pundit and commentator, an excellent one at that

“This is how the whole beef started with me and Luke,” Bisping told talkSPORT.com.

“We sparred together years ago and I was talking to some god damn journalists like you guys! They said, ‘How did the sparring session go?’

“And I said, ‘Well you shouldn’t talk about it, but I am now the unofficial Strikeforce champion!’

“That’s how it all kicked off so I am not going to make the same mistake! We are good, we are getting along, it’s nice.

Thankfully, the two men are now firm friends thanks to coach Jason Parillo
@bisping (Twitter)

“He just started training at RVCA. I’m retired and I’m busy so I’m not in the gym as much as I used to be – in fact, nowhere near.

“But he started going in and he is a great additition to the gym and we have a bit of fun! We had a bit of banter with it.

“But God bless, I’m not going to disrespect him – again!” 

BT Sport 1 will show UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2 exclusively live on Saturday 12th June with coverage of the main card featuring Leon Edwards v Natie Diaz from 3am. For more info go to bt.com/sport/ufc