- Luke Rockhold shared his take on Alex Pereira’s win and how the Brazilian would fare against Israel Adesanya
- The former middleweight champion weighed in on a potential fight with Izzy
Luke Rockhold will be looking to make a statement in his long-awaited return next month at UFC 278 against Paulo Costa. Ahead of the fight, the former middleweight champion watched closely how Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira performed at UFC 276.
Thoughts about Pereira
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Rockhold acknowledged Pereira’s ability to take out a top guy in the division, having KO’d No. 4 middleweight Sean Strickland in less than one round.
“Sean Strickland lost to Alex Pereira. He tried to prove himself by standing with the best strikers in the world, but he got conned by the system,” Rockhold said. ” Sean’s like he just proved how fucking dumb he is. The system wanted him to try to stand with [Alex] and prove that stupid point and he’s just you know and it happens.”
The UFC was looking for a storyline for Alex Pereira, so they put him in a fight with Sean Strickland.”
However, Rockhold still thinks that the Brazilian is still unaware of what he should work on, primarily his grappling.
“I think we know that Izzy’s probably better than him [Pereira] and could take him down and probably submit him. [He might] try to do something like that,” Rockhold assessed. “[But] The Pereira kid just looked, I mean he looks dangerous [against Strickland]. He’s nasty but he looks like a deer in headlights out there and you know that he’s a fish out of the water if you put him anywhere in a grappling scenario.”
Still figuring out Izzy
Adesanya confessed that he was far from his best during the fight against Jarred Cannonier. Rockhold said he thought that “The Last Stylebender” could finish Cannonier but he just couldn’t land a perfect shot.
When asked if what would be his approached against Adesanya, having watched the Cannonier fight, Rockhold admitted that the champ is still “the most complicated puzzle there is.”
“I thought it was kind of what it could be. Jarred Cannonier is just a dog of all dogs,” Rockhold said. “He’s tough as nails and he’s just gonna keep coming. Izzy couldn’t land quite a shot. It wasn’t anything great but it was [what] I expected. I thought Izzy could finish him. But he just couldn’t find that button.
“I know how to fight Izzy. It’s a straightforward fight,” he explained. “It’s just you know… he’s a tough fight, he’s a big puzzle. He’s the most complicated puzzle there is at middleweight.”
Rockhold also said “anything is possible” during and after his fight with Costa. It has been three years since he last fought in the UFC and let’s see if he can still make a case for a title contention.