Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has his sights set on a jump up to 205 pounds. If all goes according to plan, that means he’d be sharing the cage with current division champion Jon Jones. Jones has never been bested in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. However, Rockhold believes he has the skill set to become the first man to do exactly that.
The Californian recently sat down for a conversation with Helen Yee. He was asked about the recent steroid controversy surrounding the light heavyweight champ. Rockhold said he’s not surprised by it in the least (via BJPenn.com):
“Nope, I’m not [surprised],” Rockhold said. “I know this sport very well. Some people get away with it, some people don’t. It’s an annoying process but like I said, as long as I can focus on my strength and not deplete myself, I can still beat these guys at their best. On their best.
“Yes [Jones should have been punished]. Like everybody else. Like what the rule says. No one gets their treatment. They set rules and they break ’em. What’s the point of setting the rules?”
Jones recently reclaimed the light heavyweight throne in December. He defeated Alexander Gustafsson via third-round TKO in the main event of UFC 232. Initially, the fight was to be held in Nevada. However, traces of a banned substance, which Jones had already been suspended for, were found in his system.
It was determined that Jones had not reingested anything illegal. Instead, it was a pulsing effect from the initial incident he had already been punished for. But the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) could not grant him a license to fight in the state in time for UFC 232.
Thus, the promotion moved the event to California on short-notice. Now, Jones will make his fighting return to “Sin City” in March. He’ll defend his title for the first time since 2015, against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
Jones vs. Smith will main event UFC 235 on pay-per-view (PPV) March 2nd. A press conference for the PPV will be held tomorrow (Thurs. January 30, 2019) in Las Vegas.
What do you think about Rockhold’s comments on Jones?