It’s safe to say that Luke Rockhold’s UFC career so far has been somewhat underwhelming till now. Rockhold did become the UFC champion, though lost the belt in his first title defense. It still isn’t an underwhelming feat, though compared to his former Strikeforce run and the huge onus of expectations that he had on his shoulders while entering the UFC, his octagon career does look a bit pale. Now after a brutal weight-cut and a devastating knock-out later, Rockhold has decided to step up a weight class. In a recent interview given to the MMA Fighting, the BJJ ace revealed that he will be leaving the middleweight division forever. He also responded to Alexander Gustafsson’s call-out and claimed that he is up for a fight.
Rockhold had won the Strikeforce middleweight title against, “The Alligator” Ronaldo Souza. He later successfully defended the belt twice, once against Keith Jardine and later against Tim Kennedy. He later won the UFC middleweight title against Chris Weidman at UFC 194 but lost the belt in his next fight to Michael Bisping. He was recently knocked out by Yoel Romero in a match for the interim title at UFC 221.
Rockhold’s fading chin has been called into question, as he has lost all four of his fights via KO or TKO. He truly showed signs of a rapidly fading chin against Bisping as he was knocked out by “The Count”, who is rather infamous for having really less power in his punches.
The former A.K.A man had revealed his intentions about moving to light heavyweight after his defeat at UFC 221. This had prompted former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Gustafsson to warn Rockhold about moving up in weight by calling him out for a fight.
The Ralph Lauren model made an appearance on Monday’s edition of MMA Fighting’s, The MMA Hour. He talked about how brutal UFC 221’s weight-cut was for him and that he plans on leaving middleweight forever. He also responded to Gustafsson’s call-out. Here’s what he said:
I don’t see me coming back, man, the weight cut is too much on me. As you get older, your bones get bigger. The last couple cuts have been pretty brutal on me. I had trouble regulating my body temperature and all that shit. It’s not fun. It’s not a fun cut anymore.
I’m a different fighter at 205. That weight cut is taking a lot out of me. We had to make weight and stress out through the staging process like the old days, It’s not the best situation. We stayed depleted for a number of hours. … I was pretty upset by that whole process.
I like it, (Gustafsson’s challenge). I think it was petty coming after me so early (after the knockout loss). I don’t know if he was trying to get under DC’s skin, but I’ll be coming. I’ll be coming to 205. Im gonna handle my business and you better be sure I’m coming for that ass, too.