After a neck injury forced former middleweight champion Chris Weidman out of his immediate rematch with champ Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, Michael Bisping (pictured) has agreed to step in on just 17 days’ notice to rematch Rockhold on June 4.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter.
White said Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was their first choice, but Souza suffered a torn meniscus in Saturday’s quick victory over Vitor Belfort. Therefore, based on the current middleweight rankings where Bisping comes in at #4 (see, the UFC rankings do actually count for something…) “The Count” gets the nod.
Rockhold has won 14 of his past 15 fights, including five straight wins en route to capturing the middleweight throne. He submitted Bisping just three fights ago at UFC Fight Night 55.
Bisping is perfect through his past three outings. The 10-year UFC veteran is coming off February’s unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva.
Despite being a top tier competitor for the UFC since winning “The Ultimate Fighter 3,” Bisping finally finds himself in a championship affair after 25 bouts for the promotion.
Depending upon which surgical procedure Weidman and his doctors choose to pursue, he will be out between six to 12 weeks.
UFC 199 goes down inside the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Here is the show’s updated lineup:
John Makdessi vs. Mehdi Baghdad
Tom Breese vs. Sean Strickland
“Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim vs. Polo Reyes
Luiz Henrique da Silva vs. Jonathan Wilson
Kevin Casey vs. Elvis Mutapcic
Jessica Andrade vs. Jessica Penne
Clay Guida vs. Brian Ortega
Evan Dunham vs. Leonardo Santos
Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green
Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas
Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard
BJ Penn vs. Cole Miller
Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz (UFC bantamweight champion)
vs. Luke Rockhold (UFC middleweight champion)