There is some uncertainty in the immediate future of former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
But during the past few months, he has been angling for a move up to light heavyweight at 205 pounds.
The American Kickboxing Academy representative admitted in the past that he would be “torturing himself” to make the 185-pound limit, which is why he has been contemplating about the move.
And since he bared his intentions to do so, he also managed to create a rift with current number one light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson.
Rockhold and Gustaffson have been going back and forth, but a fight has yet to be scheduled and finalized. In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Rockhold spoke about the possible fight with the Swede “Mauler”, along with his demands if he ended up victorious.
“I’m not gonna fight Gustafsson for nothing, and I’m not gonna put myself in the position where it creates a weird moment for me and DC (Daniel Cormier),” Rockhold said. “So, I think it all depends on what happens with this fight with him and Stipe. If that goes forward, yeah, I mean, I’ll fight Gustafsson.”
“But once you beat Gustafsson if DC’s out – If I beat Gustafsson, I should be the fucking champion (laughs). Just realistically,” he added. “And I mean, if you think about it, he is the man to beat, other than DC. And so the whole division is in a weird space. It’s almost similar to how the middleweight division was. I guess it’s a little tied up at the moment. You kind of have to wait and see to what happens in July.”
Rockhold can be considered as one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC today, given his long reach and striking skills, and prowess in grappling and submission fighting.
This has given him enough confidence to predict an easy win for himself.
“I have a lot of weapons that would work against him. I’m gonna have a lot more weight throwing around,” Rockhold said. “I’m a lot more powerful when I’m up in weight, and I can change the fight in many ways. And I don’t think there’s any way that Gustafsson will want to tangle with me on the ground. I mean, I could go back to my style of pushing guys into a realm where they’re uncomfortable.”
Rockhold is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221, which took place last February.