Luke Rockhold On Jones: I Have The Skills To Beat Him
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more fighters in the UFC, move up a weight class. And the vast majority of them have had good success in doing so.
One of the latest fighters to do so is Luke Rockhold. After years of teasing a move up 205lbs, the former UFC middleweight champion will make his light heavyweight debut at UFC 239, where he will face Jan Blachowicz.
And it’s safe to say, that the Californian is a happy man for not having to cut weight and compromise his body and health. As he told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour.
“I’m happy about not cutting weight. I’m happy about eating. I’m happy about how it feels. I’ve never felt like this before, and it feels good.
“It just got harder and harder [at 185 pounds] and depleting myself more and more as the years went on And man, I just wasn’t recovering. I didn’t have the strength. You can kinda see it as I go along, it’s just a lack of not recovering and getting back to full strength. Even in training camp, I’d get down to a certain weight the last few years, and I would just, I’d feel weak and depleted. When I had a little extra girth, I was doing a lot better. I could handle just about anybody at any weight. And so now, actually lifting and eating right and not depriving myself, it’s a different world. I’m excited to get in there and show the world.”
As well as feeling happier all round, Rockhold feels less brittle and injury prone, with the weight lifting and healthier eating he’s been able to do in this training camp.
“It’s a hell of a lot better, I’ll tell you that. Obviously the extra muscle, it kinda keeps everything intact. And a lot of those injuries happen at the end of training camp, when I’m depleting myself and getting down to weight and your body fat gets low. Your body becomes brittle. So I’m far less injury prone [at 205 pounds] and I’m looking forward to getting f***ing swinging, swinging with weight and some muscle.
“Obviously I’m not happy with how I’ve been about my career lately and I’ve rethought things and I’m coming. And this is the recipe, this is the answer. Light heavyweight and not compromising myself. When I let it go, I let it go, and I’ve never met a man in the gym that can outdo me. So I’m just going to go out there and let this thing happen at light heavyweight and you guys are going to see, it’s going to be fun.”
With a new weight division, comes a new champion. And Rockhold already has an eye on the champ, Jon Jones.
“I don’t believe there’s a man in the world who can compete with me on the ground. I don’t believe Jon is that polished on the feet. I think he adjusts, I think he’s tactical. I think I have the skills to beat him there, I have the skills to beat him on the ground, and I think the wrestling is pretty much nullified, I don’t really think it plays much of a factor.”
A victory over Jones would be even more the sweeter for the 34 year, having watched him beat his good friend Daniel Cormier twice. But as much as he would love to avenge DC’s losses, he knows he has to produce the goods at UFC 239 first.
“I don’t think it takes much. It takes a good performance. It’s all about the performance of what we do and how you do it, so let’s just wait and see. Check me out July 6th, I’m going to go put this man away and then we can talk, then we can talk about what’s up.”
UFC 239 goes down at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on July 6th. Jones will defend his light heavyweight title against Thiago Santos in the main event.