UFC president Dana White and former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold took shots at each other on social media on Tuesday.
The apparent rift between the two has festered for months. Rockhold (15-3) has been one of many outspoken critics of the UFC's decision to book a middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, who hasn't fought since 2013.
Rockhold stated in multiple interviews he felt the fight put his division in a standstill. He also said he was having a hard time accepting a fight due to an unclear title picture.
During a UFC news conference last weekend in Dallas, White responded to Rockhold's complaints and reminded him of his first-round knockout loss to Bisping last June.
"You got Rockhold right now, screaming, 'I deserve this,' -- you just got knocked out in the first round," White said. "You don't deserve anything. You have to come back and earn it."
That comment prompted Rockhold to directly tag White in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
"I never said I deserved a title shot. I said we [middleweights] deserve clarity. We deserve something to fight for," the post read. "You have to earn your way in this company? Tell me how did [St-Pierre] earn a middleweight title shot? Think before you run your mouth."
Several hours later, White responded, "I usually never respond but [St-Pierre] never lost his title. Bisping, [St-Pierre] and the fans wanted it. Stick to fighting and modeling and leave the matchmaking to us."
Since Rockhold's initial complaints about the title fight, White has said the UFC is moving on from the Bisping, St-Pierre fight due to St-Pierre's schedule. The Canadian star has said he won't be able to fight until November. According to White, Yoel Romero will now challenge Bisping for the title, although that fight is not yet official.
St-Pierre (25-2) is the longest-reigning welterweight champion in UFC history. He vacated his title in late 2013 to take a leave of absence from the sport, but he is expected to return to competition this year.