Rockhold (15-3) says he's eager to get back into the Octagon following his first-round knockout loss to late-replacement Michael Bisping at UFC 199 on June 4. The loss cost Rockhold the title and, at least for now, bragging rights over Bisping -- who he had beaten once before.
A torn MCL has Rockhold sidelined, however. Earlier this week, the 31-year-old posted a video receiving stem cell therapy. He's hoping to be back in the gym within four weeks.
Meanwhile, Bisping (29-7) is expected to defend the title against Dan Henderson (32-14) in October. The UFC has not yet announced the fight, but Henderson has spoken openly about it. Rockhold says he'll be ready to step into an October fight should one of those two get injured. If that doesn't happen, he has an idea for his next opponent.
"If Dan were to trip and stub his toe, there's nothing I would love more than to step in on short notice and fix this [Bisping rivalry]," Rockhold said on ESPN's 5 Rounds podcast. "Other than that, there's a guy I've always wanted to fight and that's Anderson Silva. He's still in the division and still, obviously, relevant.
"Personally, I'm looking at the division and that's what makes the most sense. I've already fought 'Jacare' [Ronaldo Souza]. [Chris] Weidman, of course, a lot of people are talking about that rematch but I don't really see the sense in it at this point. I'm open to a lot of things, but I really like the sound of that [Silva] matchup right now."
In regards to 45-year-old Henderson's receiving a title shot despite his relatively low rank in the division, Rockhold said he can't be against it as he considers Henderson a friend.
"I don't technically think it makes the most sense, of course," Rockhold said. "It's Dan. Dan 'Hendo' is a legend. He's one of the greatest ever. I think they're just giving him his due respect, giving him a last shot at the one title he has missed in the sport. That's my reasoning behind it. I don't know.
"I'm in a tough position. Dan is a close friend of mine. Like I said, it's not technically the decision to make, but Dan has earned his stripes in this game. I'll be watching intently and I'm excited for what I've got to do."
As far as a potential third fight with Bisping down the road, Rockhold, who fights out of San Jose, California, said he'd like that that happen but isn't investing too much energy or thought into it.
The two exchanged words after UFC 199. Rockhold felt Bisping acted disrespectful following the knockout. Bisping claims he did so after Rockhold refused to shake his hand.
"I don't know if I will get that opportunity," Rockhold said. "I just know how vulnerable he is. I need to make a statement in my next fight and that's what I plan on doing. I'm looking for the title.
"Bisping would be fun, it would be sweet. I know he got his one-in-a-million chance and he got it. I'd love to smash him and right that wrong. That would be sweet. The title is my goal [though]. Getting back on top is my priority right now."