Middleweight Luke Rockhold hasn’t made his UFC debut yet but it looks like he already has a rival in the form of Vitor Belfort. The two talented 185ers are set to scrap on May 18 at UFC on FX 8 with the winner exiting as a likely title-contender and, as evident from recent comments the former Strikeforce champion made, the motivation to succeed is as personal as it is professional.
In Rockhold’s opinion, Belfort’s decision to use testosterone replacement therapy tarnishes the sport of MMA and he plans on dishing out damage in order to prove a point.
“I think it’s a crock of sh*t personally. I don’t understand it. I think Nevada set the standard for most of the other states. And it’s like the NBA and Baseball, if they travel overseas, they’re not going to be permitted to use steroids just because they’re overseas. I think it’s just crap,” said the 10-1 Rockhold in an interview with MMAFightCorner. “But at the same time, if they’re not going to punish him, I will.”
When it comes to how Rockhold plans on living up to his words, the 28-year old pointed to a number of areas he feels he’s superior to Belfort in including an intangible or two.
“I think my advantages are everywhere really. Vitor will always have fast hands, he has good power, but I pose a lot of problems myself. I’m a longer fighter, I have better kicks than him. I believe my advantages are on the ground, in wrestling, in the distance in the stand-up,” explained Rockhold. “I have plenty of ways to win this fight. And most of all, I’ve got more heart than Vitor. I think I’m more of a man than Vitor.”
Rockhold hasn’t fought since July when he beat Tim Kennedy to retain his Strikeforce title. The victory was his ninth in the organization, adding to other past triumphs such as those over Keith Jardine and Ronaldo Souza.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY