It appears former UFC 185-pound titleholder Luke Rockhold has had it up to his eyeballs with the recent goings-on in his division, so much so, he’s willing to jump up two weight classes and test his skills against the giants of the land. In this case, his first port of call is erstwhile UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.
Both these cats have been beefing since their Strikeforce days, so, an eight-walled cage throwdown might just be what the doctor ordered – a submission/knockout for their ongoing animus towards each other.
“Everyone’s steaming over this new fight I brought up. I think me and Werdum got some old beef from Strikeforce. He’s a guy I’ve always wanted to fight. I’ve thought it through and I like the style matchup.
“Given what’s going on in the middleweight division right now, screw that, I’m coming to heavyweight. Let’s do this.”
“Vai Cavalo” was scheduled to face Ben Rothwell at the upcoming UFC 211 event, however, Rothwell was bounced from the card after falling foul of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Albeit Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) responded to Rockhold’s call out; stating he had no intentions of taking the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) resident up on his offer, Rockhold, a former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder does seem like a viable option given Werdum has been devoid of dance partners in the realm of heavyweights.
It should be noted that Rockhold, 32, has never competed at heavyweight, let alone light heavyweight, so, if this fight should ever come to fruition, it’ll be interesting to see how he fairs apropos, adding weight (his walk around weight is in the region of 205/210 lbs), increased muscle mass, ability to absorb punishment etc.
Other factors to be taken into account with his jump up to heavyweight could be depletion of energy, lack of celerity, and diminished striking power.
Pluses for Rockhold:
Height – 6’3,” an inch shorter than Werdum.
Reach – same as Werdum; 77 0. in.
Grappling – Werdum has the edge, however, Rockhold possesses some slick jui jitsu of his own.
Striking – Even.
Since coughing up his strap to Michael Bisping (his first title defense) in June of last year, Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has been out of the 185-pound mix, and with no guarantee of a rematch, or even another shot at middleweight gold in the foreseeable future, the Santa, Cruz, Calif., native has elected to follow what seems to be trending in the UFC at minute – “money fights.”
“They’re into making money fights right? They want to make a money fight, sell some tickets – let’s do this thing.”