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Morning Report: Luke Rockhold says Brock Lesnar, Jon Jones ‘should be suspended for a long time’

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Luke Rockhold
Luke Rockhold
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Not that long ago, there were discussions about former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold moving up to light heavyweight to take on Alexander Gustafsson. It was a move Rockhold was excited about since he is having an increasingly hard time making the weight-cut down to 185 pounds. Unfortunately, Rockhold sustained an injury that waylayed the match-up and now the UFC is reportedly targeting a rematch between Rockhold and Chris Weidman, at 185 pounds. That would obviously put off any possibility of a light heavyweight run from Rockhold in the near future, but the former middleweight champ says that might not be such a bad thing after all.

Speaking with MMAJunkie recently, Rockhold addressed the his career going forward and future fight plans, saying that since his friend, training partner, and current light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, has not opted to vacate the 205-pound belt after winning the heavyweight title, he may need to delay his move up to light heavyweight until after Cormier hangs up the gloves next year.

“Nothing’s official,” Rockhold said. “I like it. I like the light heavyweight division - I think it’s for the taking - it’s just ‘DC’ and the complications with him. He’s tossing and turning and I just want the thing to really solidify himself and iron it out. I want a match-up. I want a sexy match-up. I want to get up there and do some damage and make it mean something. I don’t want to fight the best guy in the division in Alexander Gustafsson and then have to backtrack if DC doesn’t fight, have to fight someone else lower for a potential title shot. What’s the f**king point?”

Cormier’s lingering presence in the 205-pound division isn’t the only thing giving Rockhold pause though. Rockhold is also put off by the possibility of the return of Jon Jones. Jones is currently on a provisional USADA suspension following a failed drug test at his rematch with Cormier at UFC 214. As a repeat offender, Jones faces up to a four-year suspension from USADA, though recent rumors have been flying that “Bones” will be returning to the cage next year. That doesn’t sit well with Rockhold.

“This sport is starting to get a little jokey,” Rockhold said. “I’m just sick of watching Brock [Lesnar], watching Jon – when you get down to real business, these guys should be suspended for a long time. People are learning how to cheat the system. USADA is owned by the UFC. [Shrugs pointedly]

“I like fighting clean. I’ve always fought clean, and I want to fight clean people. I want to fight fair. I want a fair playing field. USADA’s got to step their game up and be what they were in the beginning. In the beginning, it seemed like they were doing their job. Now it seems like they’re owned. It’s sad to see, but hopefully it can correct itself and we can get on the right path. I’m sick of it all, but I love it all at the same time.”

But that is a problem for a later date. For now, Rockhold is staring down a potential rematch with the man he took the title from at UFC 194. But while the UFC wants the fight to happen at UFC 230 this November in Madison Square Garden, Rockhold says that nothing is official yet and the UFC needs to make a more attractive offer to him to get him back into the cage, especially at 185 pounds.

“Madison Square Garden is very appealing. I like that stage. I’ve always wanted to fight there. . . Of course it’s intriguing. Madison Square Garden vs. Weidman – [I’m] No. 2, he’s No. 3. It’s a pretty clear-cut fight. You go out there and do the job at Madison Square, it’s fun, it’s sexy.

“You’ve got to show me the right contract. I don’t need to do anything these days. Business is good. We’re doing business everywhere. I’ve got a lot of things going on. When you show me the right contract, then I’ll sign the right contract.

“I love fighting. I’m nowhere near done in fighting but it’s got to make sense. I’m not going to take off time and lose money to go fight. I love what I do and I know I have a lot more to give in this sport, but these people need to get their contracts straight. They need to get their priorities straight with what they want and where they want to go. I know what I want.”


MUST-READ STORIES

PFL Results. Raymond Cooper III snags No. 1 seed with 18-second TKO, Kayla Harrison remains unbeaten at PFL 6.

Rumble. Willie Whitehead misses weight by 14 pounds, Bellator 204 fight with Romero Cotton still on.

Scared. Derrick Lewis says Francis Ngannou ‘looked scared from the get-go’ at UFC 226, has ‘never’ before experienced that.

Strab. James Gallagher: Darrion Caldwell wants Patricio Freire next because he’s ‘scared’ of Irish title defense.

Combate. Combate Americas announces one-round qualifiers for Copa Combate tournament.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Beat.

Darren Till interview.

More BTS at Jackson-Wink.

Wrestling day at AKA.

The REEM.


LISTEN UP

Believe You Me. Michael Bisping discussing Colby Covington, Nick Diaz, and Kevin Lee.

Extra Rounds. Interviews with Justin Gaethje, Mickey Gall, Michael Johnson, and Andre Fili.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Nick Diaz made some Tweets.

Jimi has a fight it would seem.

Aggressive.

Call out.

Lonely.

It would be truly incredible if the UFC somehow had a hand in bringing down the Warriors dynasty.

Even though USADA is dumb, that’s an impressive run.

And Jon still talking comeback.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Alan Patrick (15-1) vs. Scott Holtzman (11-2); UFC 229, Oct. 6.

Patricio Freire (27-4) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (17-3); Bellator, Nov. 15.

Curtis Blaydes (10-1, 1 NC) vs. Francis Ngannou (11-3); UFC Beijing, Nov. 24.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2006: At UFC Fight Night 6, Diego Sanchez won a unanimous decision over Karo Parisyan in the 2006 Fight of the Year.

Also that evening, at WEC 23, Doug Marshall knocked out Lodune Sincaid to win the WEC light heavyweight title.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Another light weekend ahead of us. Only a Bellator card tonight, so enjoy your fight-free Saturday and see y’all on Monday.


EXIT POLL

Poll

What is your opinion on USADA?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    They’ve done a great job.
    (173 votes)
  • 63%
    They’ve done an okay job but could do better.
    (981 votes)
  • 6%
    No opinion.
    (101 votes)
  • 18%
    USADA is dumb and I hate it.
    (278 votes)
1533 votes total Vote Now

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