Luke Rockhold doesn’t believe the 205-pounders are as technical as fighters in other weight classes.
Rockhold’s time as a middleweight appears to be over. The former UFC and Strikeforce 185-pound ruler has made middleweight his home since the start of his career. After going 1-2 in his last three bouts and feeling the effects of weight cutting, Rockhold is ready to move up.
He already has someone eager to fight him when he gets to 205 pounds. Rockhold and Alexander Gustafsson have been involved in a bit of a beef. “The Mauler” called out Rockhold in an attempt to get under light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s skin. Cormier and Rockhold are good friends and former training partners.
Whether or not Rockhold vs. Gustafsson will take place remains to be seen, but Rockhold does plan to move up. During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Rockhold talked about the difference between light heavyweight and other divisions (via MMAFighting.com):
“I don’t think they’re as technical in many ways. I think Alexander [Gustafsson] is one that stands above and beyond most of those guys. But for the most part, a lot of those guys, it’s not a deep division by any means. Alexander was always one of the true tests at that division and I’ll give him that respect. I wasn’t really referring to him [as easy], but beyond that there’s a lot of guys that are open.”
In his last outing, Rockhold was knocked out by Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 221. Had Rockhold won the bout, he would’ve been the interim middleweight champion. Instead, Romero will meet champion Robert Whittaker for the undisputed title at UFC 225.
It was clear in a pre-fight interview that Rockhold was severely drained from the weight. The loss was just the third of his professional mixed martial arts career. He’ll look to turn the tide at 205 pounds.
Do you think Luke Rockhold can find success at light heavyweight?