While Luke Rockhold is still enjoying the moment after defeating Chris Weidman to become the UFC’s new middleweight champion on Saturday night at UFC 194, he’s already looking ahead to who he’d like to fight next.
Earlier in the evening Yoel Romero narrowly defeated Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in what was believed to be a No.1 contender bout, but Rockhold doesn’t sound overly enthusiastic about facing ‘The Solider Of God’ at this stage.
“Yoel had a so-so performance, but it was a little iffy,” was Rockhold’s assessment of Romero on the night. “I respect the guy, and he’s very tough, but is that (win over Souza) credible?”
So who would the new champion like to fight instead? It seems that it’s not a decision that requires a lot of thought on his part.
“What I would like, why not? Vitor Belfort on a silver platter,” Rockhold said. “I got to right my wrong. What can I say?”
Belfort is the only man to have defeated Rockhold in the past eight years, knocking him out with a first round head kick in the former Strikeforce champion’s UFC debut back in 2013. Belfort proved to be a wrecking ball during that period in his career, but in hindsight his performances have been clouded by the fact that he’s been accused of abusing TRT treatment at the time, and indeed he did fail a drug test early the following year.
Belfort is coming off yet another head kick finish against Dan Henderson and is ranked joint 3rd at this moment in time, so it’s certainly possible that the UFC could match them up together, and it seems the Brazilian is definitely up for it.
“My head is very well placed in my body and will remain so; different from yours that apparently still spinning since 2013,” Belfort posted on Instagram alongside a picture of him KO’ing the new champion. “Nothing is personal, it is all about business!”
Whatever happens, Rockhold appears to have no intention of looking for easy fights now that he’s the king of the hill at 185lbs and wants the UFC to make sure that he gets a big fight next.
“I’m in for a big fight; I want a big fight,” Rockhold said. “The middleweight division is in a great place now. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll see what the boss wants. I want a big, big fight. I’ll leave it at that.”