Luke Rockhold believes he’ll be a new man in the light heavyweight division, and he’s not waiting for his debut in the division to announce himself as a contender to champ Jon Jones’ title.
“I’m moving up to get after him,” Rockhold recently told TMZ Sports. “That’s what I’m here for.”
Rockhold has been dealing with a myriad of injury issues over the past past several years, but the former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champ believes a move up in weight to 205 pounds is granting him a new life in his professional career.
“The last couple years, I’ve been compromising myself so much to get down to ’85, and my body just falls apart in training camp the last few weeks,” Rockhold said. “(Being at 205) just feels right. I feel healthy. I feel comfortable, and I’m excited to take down these light heavyweights. I just don’t see a lot there.”
Rockhold said he knows he can’t just walk into a title shot in his first fight in the division but hinted that a fight with a top-level opponent is on the horizon.
“I’ll come prove myself,” Rockhold said.
After that, Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) said he wants to add his name to the growing group of fighters that includes Anthony Smith, Corey Anderson and Thiago “Marreta” Santos, all of whom believe they are deserving of a crack at Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).
After watching “Bones” take out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, Rockhold especially likes his chances.
“I thought he looked beatable,” Rockhold said. “He’s good on the feet. He’s tactical. He adjusts, and he fights to his advantages. I like my advantages vs. his.”
At 6-foot-3, Rockhold has always been a massive middleweight, and he certainly won’t look out of place in the light heavyweight division. With his past accolades, a win or two might very well merit some serious discussion of a shot at the belt.
Rockhold isn’t wasting any time and had a message for Jones.
“Hold tight – I’m coming, Princess.”