After Yoel Romero knocked him out at UFC 221, Luke Rockhold revealed he had plans to move up to light heavyweight because the cut down to 185 pounds was too draining on him physically.
However, Rockhold had a change of plan and now he will be fighting Chris Weidman at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov.3.
“Chris Weidman at Madison Square Garden. Simple enough,” Rockhold told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “It’s a big fight, in a big arena, 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, it gets me excited, makes me wanna come back and drop that weight, I guess.
“And there’s a hold up in the (light heavyweight) division. Obviously, I’m very close to DC and I know his standing and where he’s going and what’s going on right now, so there’s just a lot of things that need to be cleared up before I make that move and run the pond at light heavyweight.”
“It got me back down to 185 pounds. Not a lot of things would’ve brought me back here at the moment,” he added. “But I’m excited. Madison Square Garden is the biggest venue in the world. I got the MGM down. It’s probably the two biggest venues in the world, right? I won the world title against Weidman at the MGM. Unfortunately, I’m gonna have to put him away here at Madison Square Garden. It’s gonna be an epic fight.”
Luke Rockhold defeated Weidman in 2015 via a bloody fourth-round TKO to become the UFC middleweight champion. Luke last fought against Yoel Romero at UFC 221 where he suffered a brutal third round Knockout and thus missing a title shot at Robert Whittaker.
“He’s an incredible fighter, man. He put away Kelvin Gastelum,” Rockhold said of Weidman. “People want to discredit Weidman because he’s had a couple of rough fights since we encountered, but he showed up (in) his last fight. You’re only as good as your last fight, they say, and he showed up and put Kelvin Gastelum away like nobody else could.
“He’s very relevant in the division, he’s No. 3 in the world. And so going in and putting him away again obviously just speaks volumes.”
UFC 230 doesn’t have the main event yet, but chances are it’s being headlined by Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier.