Rockhold calls out Bobby Knuckles
Top UFC middleweight contender Luke Rockhold appeared recently on Submission Radio to discuss his return. He has been our for months with a knee injury, but has recovered and is ready to return.
“This last week was the real first week I started throwing kicks, inside leg kicks, getting checked and nothing really came back on me,” said Rockhold. “So I’m 100 percent ready, I’m hungry and July 8th is my date. So now it’s just time to find the right dance partner”
“How about Bobby Knuckles, man? Your boy is looking good. Aussies got something to believe in right now. He’s looking fresh, looking tight and I think we make a lot of sense right now. The kid wants to get his title shot, there’s a long list of guys in line right now and I’m looking to get back at it. So I don’t see anything better. I appreciate the competition and I like what the kid’s done and I want to test him and I want to test myself and get back at it.”
“I thought he would chew Jacare up on the feet if it got stuck there, I just didn’t think it would get stuck there. Question mark was, how good is his takedown defense? And when he got to the ground, he was very tight, calm, composed and got his ass up. So I got nothing bad to say about the kid. He’s looking really solid and he’s growing everywhere. Seems like he’s getting better everywhere and he’s the real deal. So yeah, I was impressed.”
Rockhold was asked if he felt the key to beating Whittaker was getting the fight to the ground.
“I never force takedowns,” he said. “I’m in there to fight. I take what presents itself. If Rob falls on the ground, you know, maybe I’ll take it there. But that’s nothing I’m looking for pushing in this fight. I’m very comfortable in my range, my distance, my kicks. That’s something that’s going to be hard for Rob to get through. So I got my game on the feet and I know I got a large advantage on the ground. He’s sharp, he’s fast, he’s in and out. I like where he’s at. I’ve watched the kid, I’ve studied the kid and I want to go out there, I want a challenge and I want to test this kid too. So I mean, who else is there right now? Yoel’s waiting for the belt, we’re on hold waiting for GSP and Bisping. I mean, how long is this kid gonna wait? And I don’t wait any longer, I want to put myself in line to fight for the title.”
Rockhold even has a date in mind.
“At this point, I like the biggest stage in the game, Las Vegas international fight week,” he said. “I wanna come back in a big way and that’s the best stage to do it on. So that is ideal. If there’s a later date, you know, I could be open to it depending on circumstances. But that’s what I’m looking at right now. But we’ll see. If the stakes are high enough and in close enough proximity, I could push back a little bit. But I don’t feel anything sooner really at this point.”
So that would be Luke Rockhold vs. Robert Whittaker at either the TUF 25 Finale on Friday, July 7, or UFC 213 on Saturday, July 8. Both events take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.