Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold is done with the division. It was expected the move would happen for months now, and speaking to Submission radio, Rockhold made it official.
“I’m just training every day,” Rockhold said. “I’m lifting, so getting stronger. Getting stronger is the recipe, light heavyweight is the course.
“I’m coming for these guys, man,” he continued. “I’m just not really impressed with what’s going on right now in that division and I’m tired of compromising my body. And I’m a better fighter where I fight naturally and bigger and I’m long overdue moving up and I’m done with middleweight. It’s time to move up.”
In recent memory, former middleweights moving up to light heavyweight has had success. Take Anthony Smith who is now a title contender, and Thiago Santos who is ranked in the top ten. For Rockhold, that is a huge reason why he is making the move up but knows he is better than most of the top contenders. With that, he believes he has a good shot to become a title contender and a champion in the division.
“Anthony Smith, yeah. I mean, what, (Thiago) Santos came up just recently too. These guys, I’m just not impressed,” Rockhold said. “They’re a little sloppy in so many ways and I see openings and I’m ready to move up. I mean, the rest of the division, there’s a couple of good guys up there, but I don’t see much. I’m ready to come up and I’m ready to shut it down. [Smith] looked like shit. He didn’t look good in his last fight. I’m not gonna say… he looked like a bum, truthfully.”
Rockhold is currently 16-4 and is the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion. He defeated Chris Weidman back at UFC 194 to become the champion but lost the belt to Michael Bisping in his next fight. Rockhold then rebounded to beat David Branch before losing to Yoel Romero earlier this year. He was then set to fight Weidman again at UFC 230 before pulling out due to an injury.
Now, he has a shot to become a title contender again, but this time at a new division.