Former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold's days at 185 pounds are no more.
The American Kickboxing Academy product had been hinting for months about jumping up to the light heavyweight division. But after several injuries forced him to watch from the sideline for all of 2018, Rockhold decided the time was now to make the move to 205 pounds.
As for when and who expects him to enter his new division, Rockhold admits the top of the rankings is already huge, but he doesn't expect many challenges on his way to what he feels is an inevitable matchup with Jon Jones champion.
like early April now, ”Rockhold customs Luke Thomas during an appearance on The MMA Hour . "It just depends on what opponents fall where they may. I know Jon really wanted another fight really quick, for some reason. So he got this Anthony Smith fight [at UFC 235]so see.
"I know a couple of the other top guys are matched up. I think Thiago Santos and Jan Blachowicz [are matched up]. Corey Anderson looked decent the other night [at UFC 232] too. I'm lookin for a top guy. ”
Declaring the light heavyweight division as“ there for the taking, ”Rockhold could only laugh at what he perceives as an easy path to the title compared to middleweight.
“ Anthony Smith just got a title shot, "Rockhold mocked. “It could be sniffing at top 1
few rounds maybe [against Jones]"said Rockhold. “I think Jan is probably the toughest guy there. Just a tough durable guy. Not very skilled in so many ways, but durable. ”
One name Rockhold left out is three-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson, who came up short against Jones in their title fight at UFC 232 last month. Thinking, Rockhold donated Gustafsson credit for being a game opponent, but admitted he was still hoping for a matchup against a man who could propel him closer to the top, rather than someone who just lost to the champ. , "Said Rockhold. “He obviously has some holes in his game on the ground. So, we'll see where it lies. We'll see where he falls back in and what the UFC wants to do. Obviously, I want to fight a guy on his way to the title and make a statement. But, it just depends on what falls. There are a few options. We're talking to the UFC and we'll see. See what falls on the right date. I'm looking for one fight to put me where I need to be. ”