Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has publicly criticized the UFC for putting the focus on the promotion’s long-time president Dana White instead of the fighters themselves.
“I can’t understand what their thought process is these days,” Rockhold said on ‘The MMA Hour’ show. “They obviously don’t have a clear understanding of what they’re doing. They’re not following the recipe that has built this company. I don’t know, man. You invest in the fighters. Invest in the fighters.”
“No offense, but your investment is into Dana White. Dana White is not selling pay-per-views. Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight, Dana White Contender Series. Invest in the fighters and you’ll solve your problems. You’ll hit your marks. You’ll sell your pay-per-views. You’ll do your thing. Get it straight.”
Rockhold also voiced his frustration at the UFC’s focus on making ‘marquee’ fights that will draw a crowd on pay-per-view, even when the match-ups don’t make a whole lot of sense.
“There’s no structure, there’s no rhyme or reason to who gets title shot. Nate Diaz is my guy but the fact that they were even negotiating Nate Diaz for a welterweight title shot? It’s disrespectful to everybody in the f*cking division. These guys are, we work our asses off to get where we are, and it’s pissing me off. It’s losing its integrity and it needs to get back with its roots.”
As for Rockhold himself, he’d no doubt be happy to land a title shot himself in the near future, but his recent inactivity may count against him in that regard, with his only fight in the past 18 months being a submission win over David Branch in September.