It wasn’t too long ago that Luke Rockhold returned to the octagon and faced then 185-pound powerhouse Yoel Romero. The Cuban wrestler knocked Rockhold out to earn another shot at the UFC middleweight championship.
Shortly thereafter, Rockhold had announced he was going to move up to light heavyweight feeling that the weight cut at middleweight was all too draining.
Then, all of a sudden, the UFC had recently offered Rockhold a fight against a very familiar opponent whom he defeated to win his first UFC middleweight title, fellow former 185 pound champion Chris Weidman.
For Rockhold, the decision to take the fight with Weidman simply came down to a couple of key conditions.
One and most importantly, it’s a big fight, and it’s a way to occupy him until his friend and training partner Daniel Cormier officially decides to vacate the UFC light heavyweight title.
“Simple enough, it’s a big fight in a big arena,” Luke Rockhold said on Submission Radio (transcript via MMA Fighting). “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.”
“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.”
Though the plan for Luke Rockhold is still to make the move to 205 pounds, the current goal however, is him proving he’s the best middleweight fighter on the planet with another spectacular finish of Chris Weidman.
“I’m coming to win the f**king fight,” Rockhold said. “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.”