Luke Rockhold has been relatively quite since his defeat at the hands of Michael Bisping at UFC 199. After the fight, Rockhold made it known that he wanted an immediate rematch but that talk was stymied leaving Rockhold to wait along with the rest of the division for Bisping's next opponent to be announced. Ultimately, that honor went to Dan Henderson leaving many in the division unhappy.
Rockhold isn't among them though. Unlike Chris Weidman (who tweeted about the "joke of a system") or Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (who tweeted that the UFC should honor Henderson with a Hall of Fame induction instead of a title fight), Rockhold isn't angry about the decision. In an interview with ESPN's Five Rounds podcast with Brett Okamoto, Rockhold spoke about the upcoming title fight and what he sees next for himself.
"Technically I don't think it makes the most sense, of course. It's Dan. Dan Hendo is a legend, one of the greatest ever and I think they're just giving him his due respect and giving him a last shot at the one title he's missed in the sport...I'm in a tough position. Dan is a very close friend of mine. Like I said, it's not technically the decision to make but Dan has earned his stripes in this game...I don't understand exactly where the reasoning is behind this match-up but I'm excited for Dan to go at it and try to take it and bring it home."
Rockhold is currently recovering from various injuries, in particular a sprained MCL for which he is receiving stem cell injections. He says he expects to return to full training in four weeks and that his first priority is getting back the belt he lost. However, if that happened to be by beating the man he lost it to, he'd be more than willing to step up on short notice despite his time off recently.
"I would love an opportunity to right that and finish this. I don't know if I will get that opportunity given that I know how vulnerable he is to the division, so I need to go make a statement with my next fight and that's what I plan on doing...I'll be ready for a last-minute replacement for this fight if Dan were to trip and stub his toe. There's nothing I'd love more than to step in on short notice and fix this."
Rockhold does not have any opponent scheduled but there is no shortage of options. Since the Bisping-Henderson fight was announces, rumors have circulated that the UFC is looking to set up the Rockhold-Weidman rematch that was originally planned for UFC 199. Barring that, the middleweight division has several viable contenders currently and bouts with Jacare or Yoel Romero would also be likely title eliminators; however, Rockhold has something different in mind.
"Other than that there's a guy I've always wanted to fight and that's Anderson Silva. Anderson Silva is still in the division, he's still obviously relevant. He had the controversial loss to Bisping, and I had my loss to Bisping. And obviously fighting my teammate on short notice, I think he's still very relevant and it's a fight that makes a lot of sense and would be a fun one to do.
"Personally, looking at the division I think that makes the most sense. I've already fought Jacare. Weidman, of course a lot of people talking about that rematch but I don't really see the sense in it at this point. I'm open to a lot of things but I really like the sound of that match-up now."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Let's make a deal. The UFC just signed a new TV deal with BT Sport.
Keeping it 100. Ben Henderson says he "100 percent" supports Mark Hunt's attempt to unionize fighters.
Dark Lord. Ben Rothwell believes a strong showing against Junior dos Santos can earn him a title shot.
Flyweight for it. Michelle Waterson wants the UFC to implement a women's 125 lb. division.
Innocent man. USADA declares Islam Makhachev not at fault for his meldonium violation.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Nothing today folks. Sorry about that.
Bas Rutten breaks down the 201 main event.
Press Row on the new BT deal
Don't seem like Nate knew about Conor.
@Ufc played me again #trustnobody— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 27, 2016
Time for change people https://t.co/DMch49g0zz— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) July 27, 2016
BREAKING NEWS. UWW has the documents! Inside sources tell me a bunch of failed drug tests will be released prior to Olympic Competition!— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) July 28, 2016
Doesn't suck to be Sage.
Which do you like the best? pic.twitter.com/4gZKkbkTzl— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) July 28, 2016
Ian McCall and Justin Scoggins had a fun Twitter exchange today.
Well they think I'm a lame horse I'm sure haha more $ for my friends https://t.co/6wpHXceUQF— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) July 27, 2016
They just know I'm a Young Stallion #UFC201 https://t.co/IW4VL7yRad— Justin (@ScogginsFlow) July 27, 2016
Very true! Don't get made if I ride you like a pony https://t.co/RZDQGOpU2i— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) July 27, 2016
say when ;) https://t.co/oUtk0Djoom— Justin (@ScogginsFlow) July 27, 2016
Play for blood? https://t.co/Po7xTTMUzw— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) July 27, 2016
@Unclecreepymma pic.twitter.com/xOVMdM7xQx— Justin (@ScogginsFlow) July 27, 2016
@chitoveraUFC @Unclecreepymma @ufc Hahahaha I ain't Mighty Mouse— Justin (@ScogginsFlow) July 27, 2016
True but you'll be my huckleberry right? https://t.co/BY4BcF41bp— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) July 28, 2016
.@DwightHoward & @TWooodley = scary combination.#UFC201 pic.twitter.com/4vXAXKsEfn— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) July 22, 2016
Matt Brown is rocking that Iceman hair.
Kenny's face in the bottom pic is classic.
I can't help but laugh when the sensitive dudes that complain that I fight until the ref steps in. Incase it wasn't obvious enough, I'm a head hunting true fighter that reacts on killer instinct, not the pussy martial artist begging refs to stop the fight. I'm going hard with the will to win, no matter if I'm winning or losing, and the only thing stopping me is the sound of the bell or the ref pulling me off..... If you are one of those sensitive dudes that can't handle a savage fight.... Don't watch and stick to cricket, golf or video games. It's as simple as that. #HeadHunter #EveryoneKnowsWhatsUpWhenImLockedInTheCage
So mad and angry!! In the middle of my camp after training I come home and see 3 police cars outside my house. Run into my house and see they have done a HUGE mess, going through my bedroom, laundry, every corner of the house and created a huge mess. I was wondering what they were doing and kept asking them to tell me what the hell is going on or at least show my some id or let me talk to their chief of commander but no reaction. I got really scared. Suddenly one of the officers runs towards me and keeps on screaming: WHERE IS IT, WHERE HAVE YOU HIDDEN IT?? I answered what, what is it that you are looking for? Thousand of things went through my mind and I was thinking what could have caused this??? Meanwhile they were still running around looking for something in my house. So I just stepped aside and looked at them, tired, hungry and thirsty. Suddenly one of the officers gets a call standing next to me, hangs up and start screaming: Stop the search immediately, we are in the wrong house and wrong place! Pokémon is in the neighboring house!!!! #badboy #teammauler #pokemongo #jokerface
Gegard Mousasi (39-6-2) vs. Vitor Belfort (25-12-0); UFC 204, October 8.
Randy Brown (7-1-0) vs. Eick Montano (7-3-0); UFC Fight Night 94, September 17.
Jim Wallhead (29-9-0) vs. Jessin Ayari (15-3-0); UFC Fight Night 93, September 3.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Carlos Condit made his Pancrase debut, defeating Koji Oishi by doctor stoppage at Pancrase 2006: Neo-Blood Tournament Finals. Condit was rebounding off of consecutive losses to Jake Shields and Pat Healy and this victory began the streak which saw Condit claim the WEC welterweight championship.
2012: Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann took place in Kansas City, Kansas.
Nothing today y'all. Hope your day rocks and if not, tomorrow is Friday so you're almost to the weekend.
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