UnderGround Forums Luke Rockhold: ‘The Sport is Losing its Integrity’

6 days ago
2/15/06
Posts: 16213
Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold isn’t happy with the current state of the UFC’s 185-pound division or the sport as a whole. When Chris Weidman was forced out of their UFC 199 title fight, it set in motion a series of events that left the middleweight division in disarray.

Michael Bisping stepped up on short notice as Weidman’s replacement and knocked Rockhold out. Four months later, Bisping defended his title against Dan Henderson instead of the top contender. An injury and negotiations to face former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre kept Bisping sidelined for 13 months. In the meantime, the fight promotion created an interim title. Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero in July to capture the interim belt.

Bisping returned at UFC 217 against St-Pierre, who defeated Bisping to become a two-division UFC champion. He was expected to face Whittaker in a title unification bout, but St-Pierre revealed that he’s battling colitis and a time frame for his return is unknown. A true top contender has not fought for the 185-pound title since December 2015.

“I love fighting. I want to fight, but there are principles in this game. You’ve got to have morals. I’m not just going to fight fights to fight to get nowhere,” Rockhold said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

Rockhold has been in talks with the UFC, but isn't going to sign a bout agreement that doesn't have the champion's name on it.

“There’s been talks along the way about potential this and potential that. They’re trying to make fights like Yoel Romero right now. Why would I fight Yoel Romero when there’s no clear-cut person fighting Whittaker? Obviously, I want to fight for the title,” said Rockhold.

“If that’s available, I’m not going to (expletive) sign any fight. I want to fight for the title, and if that’s available then that’s what I’m going to do. Don’t try to make me fight fights when, you tell me, what’s a number one contender fight these days? Did Georges St-Pierre fight a number one contender fight? I don’t think so. There’s no point in fighting guys when there’s no structure, there’s no rhyme or reason to who gets the title shot.”

TRENDING > Manager: Mark Hunt Cleared to Fight by Doctors, Targets Fabricio Werdum

It' s not just the middleweight division that's seen a logjam due to an inactive champion. Conor McGregor was stripped of his featherweight belt and an interim title was created. Max Holloway now holds the belt which McGregor never defended.

McGregor won the lightweight title at UFC 205 in November 2016. He hasn't defended it either. The fight promotion created an interim belt in that division that is now held by Tony Ferguson.

Germaine de Randamie won the women's featherweight title by defeating Holly Holm at UFC 208 and refused to face Cris Cyborg and relinquished the title. Cyborg won the vacant belt at UFC 214.

Champions aren't defending their belts and contenders are sitting on the shelf or being passed over altogether. Rockhold is at his wits' end.

“Nate Diaz is my boy, but the fact that they were even negotiating Nate Diaz for a welterweight title shot doesn’t make sense. It’s disrespectful to everybody in the (expletive) division. We work our asses off to get to where we are. It’s a (expletive) sport. It’s pissing my off. It’s losing its integrity and it needs to get back to its roots.”

https://sports.yahoo.com/luke-rockhold-sport-losing-integrity-130426472--mma.html
6 days ago
7/27/13
Posts: 9931

Losing? 

MMA as a merit based sport lost all integrity about 3 years ago. 

 

6 days ago
10/23/09
Posts: 20401
Waaay too many people getting a title shots based off popularity over wins.
6 days ago
1/12/12
Posts: 2587
He's correct.

The UFC has developed a system in certain weight divisions where rankings have no relevance. Fighting to gain number 1 contender spots are irrelevant.

The middle weight and Light weight division are not the place to be if you are a fighter trying to win a championship.
6 days ago
6/4/14
Posts: 450

"Why would I fight Yoel Romero when there’s no clear-cut person fighting Whittaker? Obviously, I want to fight for the title,” said Rockhold.

 

Isn't GSP vs Whittaker up next?

6 days ago
11/1/05
Posts: 6309

lol at luke saying its losing its integrity. randy couture got knocked out by chuck liddel and somehow skipped every ranked top ten hw and fought tim for the belt. that was before luke was in ufc.

 

sorry luke, you gotta get them ppv numbers on your side. once you do that..you run shit.

6 days ago
8/3/11
Posts: 5864

Conor’s fault. Dana gave him special treatment and other fighters are following in those footsteps by lying and faking injuries until they get their way. 

6 days ago
7/19/13
Posts: 17203

UFC has been a joke for a while now. The fighters are fighting not for the Ultimate Fighter belt and climb the rankings, now they fight to be the king of the Ultimate Popularity Contest. It’s sad really how great fighters get passed over for clowns who sit on the belt without defending it for years. Years of avoiding the best guys in your division, but yet the guy who’s down to fight for his glory is a nobody in the sport. Then you got clowns like Bisping who bitch about “injuries” while Yoel is at his doorstep, but will conveniently magically heal once GSP is the next guy. Foh.. UFC I watch it still because I love watching fights, but the integrity has been gone for a long fucking time. Ever since the McGregor show came to be, that’s about the time the “sport” part of it came apart. Now it’s just a circus and fighters refusing to compete against the best guys to prove they are the best. Now it’s more like boxing where ppl cherry pick and talk about money fights with popular fighters that haven’t fought in years instead of defending against the next best guy. Don’t ever call UFC a sport, it’s a spectacle that lost it’s direction the minute a shiny penny blinded them. 

6 days ago
8/17/08
Posts: 14515

This is why joe Silva and Lorenzo were so important.

6 days ago
2/3/11
Posts: 1842

Hard to disagree with the guy. Honestly, if you think about it..it’s our fault. We wanted the superfights all these years, we wanted to see Maymac.  It will get back to the way it was. Will just take some time. Maybe. 

6 days ago
9/5/11
Posts: 34297

Gonna talk his way straight into a big money Bellator fight (read: 60k/60k with a Condom Depot sticker on his fight shorts)

6 days ago
12/30/13
Posts: 320
MMALOGIC -

This is why joe Silva and Lorenzo were so important.

We were hearing the same complaints even when those two were still with the company. We will still hear the same complaints years from now. Its all the same bitching that will never go away.
6 days ago
1/12/12
Posts: 2589
^^^ It's only two belts in question.

You're right to a certain extent. At times, certain individuals got title shots who were not the top ranked contenders.

However, champions not defending their belts or holding the belt without fighting was never an issue.
6 days ago
12/9/13
Posts: 20618
keithws2 - He's correct.

The UFC has developed a system in certain weight divisions where rankings have no relevance. Fighting to gain number 1 contender spots are irrelevant.

The middle weight and Light weight division are not the place to be if you are a fighter trying to win a championship.

this

6 days ago
2/15/06
Posts: 16231
Malvert the Janitor - 

Gonna talk his way straight into a big money Bellator fight (read: 60k/60k with a Condom Depot sticker on his fight shorts)


Condom Depot pays better than Rebok.
6 days ago
6/23/09
Posts: 5174

This silly talk will stop once he has the strap back. Which is entirely possible.

 

6 days ago
1/23/06
Posts: 88391
When they chose to sign CM Punk over Ben Askren that was absurd.
6 days ago
7/23/10
Posts: 8725

I see what he's saying, but UFC is also in the middle of a downswing and needs the money fights to bring the fans in.

I wouldn't mind if title shots were given based on rankings and merit, nothing else. But that impacts the entertainment value of the product, which makes money from entertaining people.

But it seems like he gets that and tries to play the heel. So now I'm confused. Is this a promo or a shoot??

5 days ago
7/10/02
Posts: 18528
Rockhold had to be the #1 fighter I disliked with his diva "eternally pissed while so blessed" arrogant persona, but he is so right that I'm rooting for him now LOL And it's not just the WW division though it is by far the most affected. The belts have lost a lot of meaning and luster and it's not good at all for the sport!

Though I'd love to see a fight between him and Romero. Both of then need to be active anyway and Whittaker is injured so..
5 days ago
4/20/11
Posts: 17138
He'll keep saying this...

Until he gets gifted a title shot.
5 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 31296
Masakyst - 

I see what he's saying, but UFC is also in the middle of a downswing and needs the money fights to bring the fans in.

I wouldn't mind if title shots were given based on rankings and merit, nothing else. But that impacts the entertainment value of the product, which makes money from entertaining people.

But it seems like he gets that and tries to play the heel. So now I'm confused. Is this a promo or a shoot??


Another thread was made about how the UFC is dropping the ball on Stipe/Ngannou. This fight has the potential to easily do a million buys with the right promotion and build-up. Yet, the UFC doesn't want to promote Stipe and is pushing Ngannou into a title fight when he isn't a big name yet.



5 days ago
6/8/10
Posts: 12442
DropTheHammer -

"Why would I fight Yoel Romero when there’s no clear-cut person fighting Whittaker? Obviously, I want to fight for the title,” said Rockhold.

 

Isn't GSP vs Whittaker up next?

Luke is fight Robert, he probably wanted the easier fight with GSP though.
5 days ago
7/22/09
Posts: 3178
GOAT St. Pierre - When they chose to sign CM Punk over Ben Askren that was absurd.
This 100%

Askren couldn't get 100k but Punk got 500k

Well Punk put asses in the seats though
5 days ago
7/27/13
Posts: 2209

Losing? It lost that a while back

I don't know the exact date... but I think it was around when Conor was getting favourable matchups on his way to the title... Or when Ronda Rousey was touted as being able to beat 135 pound men/even Mike Tyson despite fighting girls who didn't know what they were doing, and who refused to fight Cyborg.

WME was definitely a catalyst in putting "entertainment" over a legitimate sport. 

At least PRIDE was open about it's freakshow nature

5 days ago
4/24/14
Posts: 790

He's 100% right. Dana White has been clear for years, even when they were still treating this thing a a competitive league based on merit, that he does not give a shit what the hardcore fan wants. The bulk of the money they make comes from casual fans who only watch big fights. So I'm well aware that his response would be "see ya!" but if this is where the sport is headed, and the decisions that will be made more often than not, then I'm not really interested anymore. I have no interest, and no reason whatsoever to be interested, in watching Nate Diaz vs Tyrone Woodley. But it will sell, and Tyrone is not in this for the glory anymore; he's openly and blatantly going for whatever will make him the most money. The dude is a savage, and he has no interest in proving it. I'm out if this is the way it is. 

And don't come at me with, "of course they're going to go for the money" as if people with principles didn't exist. This sport used to be Bill Hicks, and it's deliberately turning into Gabriel Iglesias. This sport used to be Slayer, and it's turning into Limp Bizkit. 

Fuck that.