Rockhold On Holding Off On 205 Move
After a loss at UFC 221, Luke Rockhold stated his intentions to move to 205 pounds, going as far as to call for an interim title fight with Alexander Gustafsson. Yet, there would be one offer on the table that kept Rockhold at 185, that was a fight with Chris Weidman at Madison Square Garden.
“Simple enough, it’s a big fight in a big arena,” Rockhold said. “It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go and a perfect match-up. It’s a very fitting situation. It’s something that gets me up, gets me excited, and makes me want to drop that weight. And there’s a hold up. There’s a hold up in the [light heavyweight] division. Obviously, I’m very close to ‘DC’ [Daniel Cormier] and I know his standing, where he’s going and what’s going on right now. So, there’s a lot of things that need to be cleared up before I make that move and run up on the light heavyweights.”
With light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier now a dual champion, the division is in a state of flux, especially with the eminent return of Jon Jones following a 15-month USADA suspension. The road to a championship is a bit clearer at middleweight, as Robert Whittaker defends next against Robert Gastelum, leaving the winner of Rockhold and Weidman as the defacto number one contender.
“It’s Weidman at Madison Square Garden,” Rockhold continued. “He’s an incredible fighter, man. He put away Kelvin Gastelum. People want to discredit Weidman because he’s had a couple of rough fights since we encountered but he showed up. You’re only as good as your last fight, they say, and he showed up and put Gastelum away like nobody else has. He’s very relevant in the division. He’s No. 3 in the world so going in an putting him away again speaks volumes.”
“I was seeking this fight, I thought that we could make this thing happen. We were trying to get the Madison Square Garden fight originally so it’s a fitting situation. It’s time to end this thing. We were supposed to have that rematch after the first fight. He thought certain ways about it and it’s time to silence everything, everybody. There was nothing else happening but me dominating that fight and I’m gonna go out there and prove that. Spinning heel-kick, whatever the f**k you guys want to talk about, it doesn’t f**king matter. I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna put and end to this thing. I’m gonna put a stamp on it.”
“I’m coming to win the f**king fight,” Rockhold concluded. “I’m coming to put him away. I’m gonna leave no doubt. People who doubt me, I’m gonna go out there and show myself. Every fight is different. There’s complications in fights, I’m gonna go out there and prove myself as the top middleweight in the world.”
Quotes Transcribed by MMA Fighting