Rockhold: Everyone Who Targets The Belt & Not The Champion Is A B*tch

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has insisted he’ll have one thing on his mind when he returns to the Octagon, and that’s Israel Adesanya. It’s been nearly three years since MMA fans last saw Rockhold in action. On that occasion, the Californian suffered his third knockout loss in the space of four fights. While…

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Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has insisted he’ll have one thing on his mind when he returns to the Octagon, and that’s Israel Adesanya.

It’s been nearly three years since MMA fans last saw Rockhold in action. On that occasion, the Californian suffered his third knockout loss in the space of four fights. While the previous two had come at the hands of Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero at middleweight, Rockhold’s most recent setback saw him get a dose of light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz’s “legendary Polish power.”

But despite that form, a lengthy period away from the cage has brought the 37-year-old’s hunger back, and he’s set to throw down once again later this summer.

But while Rockhold is returning with the intention of regaining the middleweight strap, his sights won’t be on the illustrious piece of gold. Instead, it’ll be on the man with whom it’s currently in the possession of.

Rockhold: You Focus On The Champion

During an appearance on Submission Radio, Rockhold gave a firm response when asked whether he focused more on the title or the champion.

According to the 185-pound veteran, any fighter who focuses on the title is a “b*tch.” Expressing a ‘to be the champ, you’ve got to beat the champ’ attitude, Rockhold insisted that the reigning titleholder is the only thing that should attract contenders’ gaze.

“I don’t see what people think, ‘Is it the belt, is it the belt.’ Anybody who looks at the belt and just wants the belt is a b*tch,” said Rockhold. “I look at the champion, and I want to take (out) the champion to be the champion. It’s not the belt. Interim belts are always bullish*t.

“You don’t look at the f*cking belt like, ‘The belt’s gonna make me the champion.’ Beating the champion makes you the f*cking champion,” added Rockhold. “So that’s what you focus on: the f*cking champion.”

With that in mind, Rockhold is eyeing up the man currently occupying the middleweight throne.

“I wanna fight Israel and test myself against the best,” said Rockhold.

To earn a date with “The Last Stylebender,” Rockhold must first go through #6-ranked contender Paulo Costa. After initially being booked to square off at UFC 277 in July, the pair will now share the Octagon at UFC 278 on August 20.

With Adesanya’s desire to face fresh challenges in his reign, should Rockhold make a successful comeback against “Borrachinha,” and should the champ brush aside the threat of Jared Cannonier next month, it stands to reason that the former king could have the opportunity to stage a coup, and one that would be quite the story.

Do you agree with Luke Rockhold’s comments?

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Luke Rockhold Believes The System Failed Cain Velasquez; ‘So Pathetic How Twisted Our World Is’

Luke RockholdFormer UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon against Paulo Costa at UFC 278 in August.  Ahead of his return to the cage, Luke Rockhold spoke with MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin to discuss his preparation after nearly three years on the shelf. Training out of American Kickboxing Academy in […]

Luke Rockhold

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon against Paulo Costa at UFC 278 in August. 

Ahead of his return to the cage, Luke Rockhold spoke with MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin to discuss his preparation after nearly three years on the shelf. Training out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, the same gym that Cain Velasquez calls home, the conversation eventually turned to the alleged shooting that has left Velasquez in jail without bail since March.

“It’s just hard to watch him grow and his family grow and you know, been through the years, the heartbreak and the amazing times we’ve had,” Rockhold said. “To see his family not have him over a system that has failed us is not fair. It sucks. It’s just not fair.”

On February 28, Velasquez is accused of firing multiple times at a vehicle carrying three individuals. One of them, the alleged target, Harry Goularte is currently facing child molestation charges. The victim was Velasquez’s four-year-old son according to investigators. Two days after his arrest, Goularte was released on bail. The next day, Velasquez would lead Goularte and two other individuals on a high-speed chase. Velasquez is said to have fired multiple shots into the car, hitting Goularte’s stepfather Paul Bender in the process.

While Goularte was granted bail, Velasquez has been denied bail during two separate hearings. 

“Of course, Cain did not play a smart role in doing what he did, but the system is completely disgusting where they can allow a man [Goularte] to go free. Knowingly letting a guy free back to that situation. Once you molesting kids and then releasing them back to the premises of a daycare he lives on where he molested his children. What the f*ck? No bail? Allowing a person to go back to this situation on that standard. It’s like, so pathetic how twisted our world is and how pathetic things are.” 

Luke Rockhold Believes Cain Velasquez Should Be Inducted Into The UFC Hall of Fame

Luke Rockhold said he has been pushing for Velasquez to be inducted into the 2022 class of the UFC Hall of Fame to honor the former champion and bring more attention to the heartbreaking situation he is currently facing. 

“I think Cain should have been in the hall of fame a long time ago. One of the nastiest, most greatest champions of all time. I was trying to push for him to get his hall of fame bid this year to bring more attention to it.” 

Velasquez is scheduled for a formal plea hearing on June 10. If found guilty, Velasquez could face life in prison.

Rockhold Gives Cannonier A 20% Chance Of Beating Adesanya

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has given a less-than-optimistic view of Jared Cannonier’s chances against reigning king Israel Adesanya. After testing his Octagon skills and recording knockouts at both heavyweight and light heavyweight, Cannonier has found a home at 155 pounds. In his six appearances in the division, “The Killa Gorilla” has gone 5-1,…

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Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has given a less-than-optimistic view of Jared Cannonier’s chances against reigning king Israel Adesanya.

After testing his Octagon skills and recording knockouts at both heavyweight and light heavyweight, Cannonier has found a home at 155 pounds. In his six appearances in the division, “The Killa Gorilla” has gone 5-1, with his sole loss coming against former champion Robert Whittaker in 2020.

Now, having rebounded with a main event victory over Kelvin Gastelum and a brutal ground-and-pound KO of Derek Brunson earlier this year, Cannonier has risen to #2 on the middleweight ladder and set his sights on Adesanya, whom he’ll look to dethrone at UFC 276 on July 2.

Despite being regarded as a heavy underdog, Cannonier has given a confident assessment of his preparation, and suggested that he’ll force the champion to change his approach when they share the cage this summer.

But one former titleholder isn’t buying it.

During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Rockhold, who sat on the middleweight throne in late 2015 after getting the better of Chris Weidman, gave Cannonier just a 20% chance of adding the first blemish to Adesanya’s 185-pound record in the UFC 276 headliner.

“Cannonier’s got a 20% chance. He’s got a puncher’s chance,” said Rockhold. “Israel’s so long and effective, how he gets out of the way of a power-puncher like that. I don’t know, I don’t see it. He fights from so many angles. It’s gonna be tough for Cannonier to get through the power kicks, takedowns, or whatever he’s gonna try to do. You never know though, he’s a tough dude.”

Having defended his title four times against Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, and Whittaker, Adesanya will be looking to extend his run of dominance by adding Cannonier to his résumé on July 2.

Should he accomplish that feat, perhaps a bout with Rockhold will be in his future. The Californian is preparing for his return against top-five contender Paulo Costa and has expressed his desire to return to the middleweight mountaintop.

Do you agree with Luke Rockhold’s assessment of Jared Cannonier’s title chances?

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Strickland Suggests Rockhold Has CTE After ‘Pedophile Supporter’ Claim

UFC middleweight Sean Strickland has hit back after being on the receiving end of some insulting comments from former champion Luke Rockhold. The rivalry between Rockhold and Strickland was a fairly big story in 2021. Even before they were scheduled to fight at UFC 268, the pair were going back and forth in interviews and…

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UFC middleweight Sean Strickland has hit back after being on the receiving end of some insulting comments from former champion Luke Rockhold.

The rivalry between Rockhold and Strickland was a fairly big story in 2021. Even before they were scheduled to fight at UFC 268, the pair were going back and forth in interviews and on social media.

From Strickland’s long list of potential places he’d scrap his fellow Californian in public to Rockhold claiming he’d put “Tarzan” back in a trailer park “where he belongs,” tensions were high ahead of the November pay-per-view.

Unfortunately, a herniated disc forced Rockhold to withdraw from his comeback fight, and the chance to settle scores with Strickland fell through. But if anyone thought that’d be the end of the feud, they were sorely mistaken.

Having already accused the #4-ranked middleweight of drug usage earlier this year, which he believes explains Strickland’s controversial remarks, Rockhold’s latest comments saw him brand the 31-year-old as a ‘pedophile supporter’.

Given Strickland’s recent social media investigation into Pat Barry’s relationship with Rose Namajunas, Rockhold’s attack seemingly comes out of nowhere.

“(Strickland) is out there supporting pedophiles,” Rockhold said on The DC Check-In. “Piece of crap. The guy needs to be written off.”

Even without provocation, Strickland isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Unsurprisingly, Rockhold’s words drew a lengthy response…

Strickland Fires Back At Rockhold

Taking to Instagram Stories, Strickland addressed Rockhold’s remarks. After dropping in his claim of once knocking the former champion out in training, “Tarzan” sought to explain the veteran’s latest insult.

After brutal knockout losses to Michael Bisping, Yoel Romero, and Jan Blachowicz across the past six years, Strickland suggested that Rockhold is suffering from CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy). With that in mind, the Anaheim native sent the 37-year-old some retirement advice.

“How much brain damage has this man taken? … So whenever Luke Rockhold first started running his mouth about me, it made me upset because a lot of what he was saying was untrue. We trained, I almost knocked him out, there were witnesses. And this whole supporting pedophiles thing… he’s almost like detached from reality.

“Then I’m starting to realize, the guy is 40 years old and he’s been knocked out how many times? I mean, viciously knocked out. Probably has severe brain damage, maybe some CTE. I don’t know man, maybe it’s time to hang up the gloves for good.” (h/t MiddleEasy)

But while Strickland thinks it’s the end of the road for Rockhold, the man himself sees things differently and is preparing for another run for the title. The Santa Cruz-born star is preparing to finally make his return against Paulo Costa on August 20.

Should Rockhold emerge victorious over “Borrachinha,” he’ll jump straight back into the top five at 185 pounds, and perhaps bring another booking opposite Strickland closer to reality.

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Sean Strickland Trashes Luke Rockhold Following Paedophilia Comment: ‘He’s Probably Got Brain Damage’

Sean StricklandUFC middleweight contender, Sean Strickland has claimed former division champion and once-scheduled opponent, Luke Rockhold is suffering from “severe brain damage” amid recent comments made by the latter regarding Strickland’s apparent defense of paedophilia.  Strickland, the current #4 ranked middleweight contender, was scheduled to share the Octagon with former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion, Rockhold […]

Sean Strickland

UFC middleweight contender, Sean Strickland has claimed former division champion and once-scheduled opponent, Luke Rockhold is suffering from “severe brain damage” amid recent comments made by the latter regarding Strickland’s apparent defense of paedophilia. 

Strickland, the current #4 ranked middleweight contender, was scheduled to share the Octagon with former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion, Rockhold back in November at UFC 268 in a main card clash at Madison Square Garden, however, the latter was forced from the bout due to a back injury.

Slated to return on July 2. at UFC 276 during International Fight Week, the North Carolina striker is booked to fight former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing champion, Alex Pereira in a potential title-eliminator at 185lbs.

For Rockhold, the Santa Cruz veteran has been sidelined since the summer of 2019, where he dropped a second round knockout loss against former division titleholder, Jan Blachowicz.

Booked to return at UFC 278 on August 20. in Salt Lake City, Rockhold returns in a high-stakes matchup against one-time middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa.

Speaking on his dislike for his fellow contender, Stickland during a sit-down interview with former two-weight UFC champion, and teammate, Daniel Cormier – Rockhold claimed Strickland needed to be written off and supported paedophiles.

“I mean, he’s (Sean Strickland) out there supporting paedophiles,” Luke Rockhold. (He’s a) piece of crap. The guy needs to be written off.”

Sean Strickland speculates Luke Rockhold may be suffering from CTE 

Reacting to Rockhold’s comments, Strickland, who recently saw his Twitter account suspended following continued flagrant tweets aimed at minorities and the transgender community, claimed that the former champion is likely suffering from “severe brain damage” following recent knockout losses.

“How much brain damage has this man taken?” Sean Strickland said of Luke Rockhold on his official Instagram story. “So whenever Luke Rockhold first started running his mouth about me, it made me upset, because a lot of what he was saying was untrue. We trained, I almost knocked him out, there were witnesses. And this whole supporting paedophiles thing – he’s almost like detached from reality.”

“Then I’m starting to realize the guy is 40-years-old and he’s been knocked out how many times?” Sean Strickland said. “I mean, viciously knocked out. Probably has severe brain damage, maybe some CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) I don’t know, man. Maybe it’s time to hang up the gloves for good.” 

Luke Rockhold Dismisses “No Chin” Narrative: “I Know I Can Take A Shot”

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has dismissed the idea he has a weak chin that is now vulnerable and susceptible to knockouts. For the past three years, Rockhold has been absent from the cage. That layoff was spurred by a rough run of form, which saw the Californian go 1-3 in his last four…

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Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has dismissed the idea he has a weak chin that is now vulnerable and susceptible to knockouts.

For the past three years, Rockhold has been absent from the cage. That layoff was spurred by a rough run of form, which saw the Californian go 1-3 in his last four outings. All of those defeats, two at middleweight and one at light heavyweight, came via knockouts.

Having lost the title after being slept by the UK’s first UFC champion Michael Bisping, Rockhold’s initial rebound win against David Branch was followed by another vicious KO setback, this time against Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero.

His pursuit of a bounce-back win at 205 pounds didn’t go to plan either, as he ran into the “legendary Polish power” of then-future titleholder Jan Blachowicz.

With that in mind, not many have backed Rockhold for success since news of his desire to return hit the surface last year. Even middleweight contender Marvin Vettori recently provided a bleak assessment of Rockhold’s chances, suggesting that he’ll “lose the few brain cells” that he has left when he makes the walk to the Octagon again.

But despite his string of KO defeats, Rockhold is confident that his chin can hold up.

Rockhold: “No One’s Hurting Me”

During a recent appearance on The DC Check-In with his former AKA teammate Daniel Cormier, Rockhold discussed his upcoming comeback and addressed the narrative that he’s become susceptible to strikes.

Citing his recent training as evidence, the former middleweight titleholder insisted that he can still take and survive hard shots.

“I’ve been hit. I’ve been hit lately and I know I can take a shot still,” said Rockhold. “I’m not being hurt by any means, by anybody. No one’s hurting me. I feel good.”

Rockhold went on to address his past defeats, pointing out that two of his KO losses came against a couple of the most powerful men that the UFC has seen in Romero and Blachowicz. His championship loss to Bisping, meanwhile, Rockhold said simply came down to the perfect punch in the perfect place.

“I mean, yes, I lost to knockouts. Bisping I think it was more of a perfect spot, perfect time kinda thing,” said Rockhold. “David Branch, did I get hurt? I don’t think so, and I got hit with some big shots too. Yoel Romero, okay, Yoel Romero, one of the hardest-hitting guys in history. Jan Blachowicz, okay, one of the hardest-hitting guys in history.

“Yeah, alright, I went down [holds hands up], but I still know I can take a shot. And I know I can fight better than I have fought in the past. I’m willing to put it on the line,” added Rockhold. “Father Time is undefeated, and this is the last chance to chase my dreams… I’m willing to risk it all.”

It’s safe to say that Rockhold’s words will firmly be put to the test upon his return when he faces arguably the most powerful man at 185 pounds, Paulo Costa. After an initial booking for UFC 277 on July 30, the pair’s clash has seemingly been pushed back to August 20.

With 11 of his 13 victories coming by way of KOs, “Borrachinha” will likely put Rockhold’s chin under heavy pressure this summer. Should the veteran survive the Brazilian’s punches, it’ll be hard to argue with his latest remarks.

Do you think Luke Rockhold will be able to handle Paulo Costa’s power when he makes his return?

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