It has been three years since Luke Rockhold has competed in the UFC, and since then, a whole new crop of middleweight prospects and contenders have arrived. From Nassourdine Imavov to Andre Muniz to Alex Pereira to Sean Strickland. The former middleweight champion is unimpressed with the new crop of talent, especially Strickland and Pereira.
Luke doesn’t care
“I could give two fu*ks,” Rockhold told Helen Yee. “Who’s Alex Pereira? And Sean [Strickland] is not really relevant, especially after his last fight. If you wanna fight for the title, prove it, earn it, go put it on the line. When you fight a guy like Jack Hermansson and you don’t fight like a fu*king man and go for a win and stake your claim and make your case, the kid is – you never know what the fu*k is in that kid’s head.”
Rockhold is talking about Strickland’s tame unanimous decision win over Jack Hermansson earlier this year in February. Strickland cruised to a decision after talking like a mad man for a few weeks. That isn’t going to work for him against Pereira, who he fights at UFC 276 in July.
Back in business
While Pereira vs. Strickland is most likely a number one contender fight, Rockhold believes if he beats Paulo Costa later this year, he is right back in the conversation.
“I think it’s pretty self-explanatory,” Rockhold said. “I think I have my track record and if I beat Paulo Costa, the No. 4 ranked middleweight in the world, who Marvin Vettori couldn’t finish, if I finish him, yeah, I think it makes a statement about where I belong and where I should go.”
UFC 277 —> UFC 278
Rockhold vs. Costa was scheduled to go down at UFC 277 on July 30; however, on Wednesday, The Schmo reported that the fight has been moved to UFC 278 on August 20.
— The Schmo (@TheSchmo312) May 25, 2022