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No way should Rockhold get immediate rematch

Jacare Souza has deserved a first shot at the title far too long for Luke Rockhold to get a second title shot after getting knocked out in the first round by Michael Bisping.

Jacare Souza has deserved a first shot at the title far too long for Luke Rockhold to get a second title shot after getting knocked out in the first round by Michael Bisping.

Michael Bisping said emphatically that his first defense of his UFC middleweight championship will not be a rematch against Luke Rockhold.

Certainly, a rematch and rubber match of their long-standing rivalry would be a very interesting fight, but when there is a clear finish to a fight, there should not be a rematch. Rockhold couldn’t even get past four minutes in the octagon against Bisping at UFC 199. Will that happen again? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter because it did happen.

It would be one thing if Rockhold had lost a close fight, or there was a very questionable stoppage; but there was no question about this result. Rockhold was out because of a heavy punch from Bisping. Bisping tore that belt off Rockhold’s waste and earns having it wrapped around his own.

Rockhold should have to earn another shot at the belt. Maybe that’s only one victory before getting another shot, but he should not get one right away.

Plus, the middleweight division is absolutely loaded with talent that could compete for a title. There are other guys who deserve a title shot before Rockhold does again.

Chris Weidman has certainly build up a reason for him to fight Bisping as those two have exchanged some words; but again, Weidman was demolished by Rockhold in his last fight. Getting another title shot off a clear loss should not happen.

The obvious choice to fight Bisping for the middleweight title is ‘Jacare’ Souza. The former strikeforce champion was on a tear since coming into the UFC in 2013. Including three-straight wins at the end of Strikeforce, Souza had eight-straight victories and really earned a title shot before he was thrown into a title eliminator against Yoel Romero. Souza happened to lose that fight against Romero by a split decision in a close fight, that really could have been argued to go his way, but the moment it was found that Romero failed a drug test that loss was immediately forgiven and he bounced back with a first round beating of Vitor Belfort.

Souza really should have gotten the shot at Weidman before Rockhold did; it just didn’t work out that way. Having to wait for Bisping to fight anybody else again would push Souza’s title shot back for another year most likely, making him 37 by the time he gets his shot. That would be an injustice. He deserves one as soon as possible.

Or even if the UFC wants to ignore Romero’s failed drug test, he should get a title shot before Rockhold with seven-straight wins since joining the UFC in 2013; including a split decision win over Souza. His sixth month suspension is set to end on July 12.

Either way, Rockhold should not even be considered as Bisping’s next opponent.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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