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Luke Rockhold believes American Kickboxing Academy is unfairly criticized over injuries

Esther Lin photo

LOS ANGELES -- Is American Kickboxing Academy unfairly singled out over its training injuries?

UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold believes so.

The San Jose camp has come under fire in 2016 when a pair of pay-per-view main events dropped out due to AKA fighters withdrawing due to injury -- first in January, when Cain Velasquez's back injury caused him to drop out of his scheduled UFC 196 fight against Fabricio Werdum, then when Daniel Cormier's leg injury meant he had to withdraw from his UFC 198 rematch with Jon Jones, which has since been rescheduled for UFC 200.

Rockhold's clearly gotten tired of the criticism, as he raised his voice at a recent UFC 199 media day when asked about the camp's injuries.

"People want to talk about our camp," Rockhold said. "You guys, we have the top camp in the world. We have all the best guys. So if anybody gets hurt, people get hurt in every other situation, but they're not all from one big camp, like ours."

Besides, as Rockold noted, Cormier's injury withdrawal was the first fight of his mixed martial arts career, and it's not as if Rockhold himself has missed many fight dates.

"DC's never missed a fight," Rockhold said. "I've barely ever missed a fight. When have I ever had to pull out of a fight? Whether I'm injured or not I still make the fight and I'm still winning, and doing what I have to do."

While Rockhold acknowledges that two-time former heavyweight champion Velasquez's career has been hindered by multiple serious injuries, he believes that as a whole, people simply notice AKA's injuries more because their in the limelight more than most gyms.

"Cain gets some injuries, but people are fighting," Rockhold said. "We just come from the top camp in the world with a lot of top names and there's a lot of focus. Any time anyone gets hurt, people want to point the finger. But the thing is, we have the best camp in the world and there's a reason why that's happening.

"Injuries happen, we have a high level of competition at the gym," Rockhold continued. "But we're family and people aren't trying to hurt each other. From time to time, things happen. I don't believe we have a big problem with injuries. I know myself, I know DC, I know a lot of these guys and a couple injuries plague you, but the rest of us have been pretty healthy."

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