Luke Rockhold is planning to move up in weight to fight Alexander Gustafsson.
Luke Rockhold has had just about enough of his brutal weight cuts to make middleweight and told Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour that he will be making a permanent move to the light heavyweight division.
“I don’t see me coming back, man,” Rockhold said of the middleweight division, per Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting. “The weight cut is too much on me. As you get older, your bones get bigger. The last couple cuts have been pretty brutal on me. I had trouble regulating my body temperature and all that shit. It’s not fun. It’s not a fun cut anymore.
“I’m a different fighter at 205. That weight cut is taking a lot out of me.”
Rockhold, the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, says his brutal weight cut at UFC 221 negatively affected his performance against Yoel Romero at Perth Arena in Australia. The American Kicboxing Academy standout was savagely knocked out in the third round of the main event.
“We had to make weight and stress out through the staging process like the old days,” he said. “It’s not the best situation. We stayed depleted for a number of hours. … I was pretty upset by that whole process.”
Almost immediately after his loss, Rockhold was taunted and called out by two-time light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson, who intends to KO the Californian to keep himself ‘warm’.
@lukerockhold , your teammate is holding MY Division hostage, and you think there are only easy fights at LHW. If u think Romero hits hard, then wait till you come to the big boys. I want @dc_mma , and knocking u out will keep me warm in the meantime. Beware of coming up in weight because I will be standing at the front door waiting.
Rockhold, 33, likes the idea of a match-up with Gustafsson and told ‘The Mauler’ that he’s ‘coming for that ass’ at light heavyweight.
“I like it,” Rockhold said. “I think it was petty coming after me so early (after the knockout loss). I don’t know if he was trying to get under DC’s skin, but I’ll be coming. I’ll be coming to 205. Im gonna handle my business and you better be sure I’m coming for that ass, too.”
Rockhold has also teased of a LHW clash against Michael Bisping, but ‘The Count’ says his rival shouldn’t be in such a hurry to get ‘knocked out again’ and should stick to modelling instead.