UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori doesn’t expect the return of Luke Rockhold to end well for the former champion.
After three years away from action, Rockhold is set to make a comeback this summer. When he does, the 37-year-old, who briefly held the 185-pound gold after dethroning Chris Weidman in 2015, will be looking to end his streak of knockout losses, which has seen him slept by both Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz in his last two fights.
After a matchup with Sean Strickland fell off the UFC 268 card last November courtesy of a herniated disc for Rockhold, the former titleholder has instead set his sights on Paulo Costa after recovering from the setback.
But one top-five middleweight contender and former opponent of Costa is expecting Rockhold’s return to the division to end in a familiar fashion for the Californian: a nap on the Octagon canvas.
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Marvin Vettori discussed his expectations for Rockhold’s summer comeback. Having managed to evade the Brazilian’s KO power in their main event clash last October, “The Italian Dream” suggested that Rockhold won’t be able to replicate that feat.
Instead, Vettori is anticipating “Borrachinha” to eliminate the “few brain cells” that managed to survive Rockhold’s previous KO setbacks to Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Romero, and Blachowicz.
“I see Luke Rockhold [LAUGHS] losing the few brain cells that he has left in his brain, and just going to sleep badly for a few minutes,” said Vettori. “But yeah, I mean, they’re two guys whose stock is not high right now. So, it makes sense that they fight each other.”
Despite initially being booked for UFC 277 on July 30, it seems that Rockhold’s return fight versus Costa has been pushed back to the August 20 event. During a recent interview, the former champion questioned what is going on behind the scenes that is causing Costa to keep delaying the fight.
Should the bout also fall off the August 20 card, Rockhold expects to search for a new opponent, rather than wait for the Brazilian.
Do you agree with Marvin Vettori’s prediction for Luke Rockhold’s upcoming return?