At the 25th Anniversary press conference a couple of weeks ago, the UFC announced several matchups for UFC 230, set to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 3.
In addition to Nate Diaz’s return against Dustin Poirier, several middleweight contests were announced: Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. David Branch and Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya. A rematch between former middleweight champions Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold was announced by Weidman weeks ago, but it wasn’t announced at the presser.
And Rockhold, at a press conference of his own, says not to expect it yet because he hasn’t put the pen to paper. To him, outside dealings are good enough that he needs the right offer to take a fight.
“Of course it’s intriguing. Madison Square Garden vs. Weidman – [I’m] No. 2, he’s No. 3 [in the official UFC rankings]. It’s a pretty clear-cut fight. You go out there and do the job at Madison Square…it’s fun, it’s sexy,” Rockhold said. “You’ve got to show me the right contract. I don’t need to do anything. Business is good. We’re doing business everywhere. I’ve got a lot of things going on. When you show me the right contract, I’ll sign the right contract.”
Rockhold added that cuts to 185 are rough, considering he walks around 220. But with his friend and training partner Daniel Cormier holding both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles, Rockhold doesn’t foresee a move up to 205 until Cormier drops the light heavyweight belt or retires as planned in March 2019.
I’m nowhere near done fighting. But it’s got to make sense. I’m not going to take off time and lose money to go fight. I love what I do and I know I have a lot more to give in this sport. But these people need to get their contracts straight. They need to get their priorities straight with what they want and where they want to go. I know what I want.
It also doesn’t help, he says, that Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones look to be making their ways back to the UFC. Lesnar is expected to receive a heavyweight title shot against Cormier once done with suspension, and there’s a chance Jones could walk his way back into a title picture once finished with his USADA issues are finished as well.
Rockhold criticized USADA and the UFC for these moves, stating there should be stricter punishments for fighters who fail drug tests.
“This sport is starting to get a little jokey,” Rockhold said. “I’m just sick of watching Brock, watching Jon – when you get down to real business, these guys should be suspended for a long time. People are learning how to cheat the system. USADA is owned by the UFC. I like fighting clean. I’ve always fought clean, and I want to fight clean people. I want to fight fair. I want a fair playing field.
USADA’s got to step their game up and be what they were in the beginning. In the beginning, it seemed like they were doing their job. Now it seems like they’re owned. It’s sad to see, but hopefully, it can correct itself and we can get on the right path. I’m sick of it all, and I love it all at the same time.
Original Story: MMA Junkie