Luke Rockhold Details Why He’s The Man To Beat Jon Jones
After an 11 year of a stint at middleweight, a former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold is finally making his debut at light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz on July 6 at UFC 239.
Rockhold was teasing a move to 205-pound for a few years due to grueling weight cut at middleweight.
The 34-year-old Californian feels he has made the right decision by moving at one division higher than his old one and hoping to advance in the UFC rankings that’d allow him to collide against Jon Jones. Luke said if he earned the opportunity, he’d be the first man to dethrone Jones.
Luke said one of the biggest reason for moving to light heavyweight is that he no longer has to go through a painful weight cut. Even at middleweight, Rockhold has frame and strength of 205-pounder. (h/t MMAFighting)
“I’m happy about not cutting weight. I’m happy about eating. I’m happy about how it feels. I’ve never felt like this before, and it feels good,” Rockhold said.
“It just got harder and harder [at 185 pounds], and depleting myself more and more as the years went on, and man, I just wasn’t recovering. I didn’t have the strength. You can kinda see it as I go along, it’s just a lack of not recovering and getting back to full strength. Even in training camp, I’d get down to a certain weight the last few years, and I would just, I’d feel weak and depleted. When I had a little extra girth, I was doing a lot better. I could handle just about anybody at any weight. And so now, actually lifting and eating right and not depriving myself, it’s a different world. I’m excited to get in there and show the world.”
Rockhold suffered many injuries that limited him to fight only once a year in the past three years. During that period he suffered a knockout loss against Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero.
Luke said most of his injuries occurred during the training camp when he was trying to cut down weight at middleweight. Now former champion said a workout regime at light heavyweight would make justice to his body and he expects to be little healthier in this division.
“Obviously the extra muscle, it kinda keeps everything intact,” he said. “And a lot of those injuries happen at the end of training camp, when I’m depleting myself and getting down to weight and your body fat gets low. Your body becomes brittle. So I’m far less injury prone [at 205 pounds] and I’m looking forward to getting f*cking swinging, swinging with weight and some muscle.
“Obviously I’m not happy with how I’ve been about my career lately, and I’ve rethought things,” he added, “and I’m coming, and this is the recipe, this is the answer. Light heavyweight and not compromising myself. When I let it go, I let it go, and I’ve never met a man in the gym that can outdo me. So I’m just going to go out there and let this thing happen at light heavyweight and you guys are going to see, it’s going to be fun.”
Rockhold is looking to come back onto the winning column when he clashes against Blachowicz at UFC 239 and hoping a win will propel him toward the desired fight against Jon Jones. He’s super confident that he can beat ‘Bones.’
“I don’t believe there’s a man in the world who can compete with me on the ground,” Rockhold said. “I don’t believe Jon is that polished on the feet. I think he adjusts, I think he’s tactical. I think I have the skills to beat him there, I have the skills to beat him on the ground, and I think the wrestling is pretty much nullified, I don’t really think it plays much of a factor.
“It takes a good performance. It’s all about the performance of what we do and how you do it, so let’s just wait and see,” he concluded. “Check me out July 6th [against Blachowicz], I’m going to go put this man away and then we can talk, then we can talk about what’s up.”
Do you think Rockhold is biting off more than he can chew?
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