Luke Rockhold is now the UFC middleweight MMA champion.
But even though has managed to defeat long reigning Chris Weidman on the title, he didn’t forget the one person he lost to when he first started in the MMA industry.
After winning over Chris Weidman by TKO during the fourth round and ultimately ending the fight, Rockhold, who now has a record of 15-2 MMA and 5-1 UFC, admitted that he wants a rematch against Vitor Belfort, who holds a record of (25-11 MMA, 14-7 UFC). Rockhold lost to Belfort back in May 2013 by a spinning wheel-kick knockout. Chris Weidman, on the other hand, now has a record of 13-1 MMA and 9-1 UFC. Weidman has finally lost the 185-pound belt last Saturday in UFC 194 held in Las Vegas.
“What I would like, why not? Vitor Belfort on a silver platter. I got to right my wrong. What can I say?” Rockhold said during the post-event interview. The interview was held in MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Even though Rockhold’s attempt to come back at his only defeat in the last seven years is impressive, Vitor may not be best challenger for him at the moment. This is because last May during UFC 187, Weidman was able to defeat Belfort just in the first round of the title bout.
“The Phenom” was able to get back up from that defeat Dan Henderson in November though. He was able to win over Henderson by first-round knockout, but it looks like that won’t be enough for now. The fighter with the most impressive record as of the moment is Yoel Romero, who holds a record of 11-1 MMA and 7-0 UFC.
Romero was able to get his seventh consecutive UFC win just recently when he defeated Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194. He was able to win the fight by split decision, which was later on promoted as a title eliminator. Even though the said victory may possibly be controversial, Romero was able to prove himself in the UFC by consistently winning bout after bout which led him to earn his title shot.
Rockhold said he wasn’t particularly impressed by Romero’s performance against “Jacare,” but he appreciates the body of work the Cuban fighter has put in and would welcome the challenge.
Rockhold, however, admitted that he wasn’t incredibly awed by Romero’s fight against “Jacare”, but he acknowledges the effort and skills that Romero had to put in so he can win the bout. This is why Rockhold said he would be willing to fight Romero next time.
“I love Yoel; he’s a very slick cat, but he better work on his cardio. Yoel had a so-so performance, but it was a little iffy. I respect the guy, and he’s very tough, but is that (win over Souza) credible?” Rockhold said.
The new middleweight champion has been able to defeat all of his five opponents in the UFC. Even if it’s Romero, Belfort or some other new fighter, they will definitely be in for a ride if they face Rockhold.
“I’m in for a big fight; I want a big fight. The middleweight division is in a weight place now. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll see what the boss wants. I want a big, big fight. I’ll leave it at that,” the new MMA middleweight champ said.