Middleweight Luke Rockhold is only days away from making his UFC debut. Rather than receive an easy introduction to life in the Octagon, the 28-year old was given a stiff test in the form of Vitor Belfort with the added challenge of taking out the talented slugger in front of his fellow Brazilians. Were that not enough, Rockhold also has to deal with Belfort’s use of testosterone replacement therapy and, as he’s stated on a number of occasions, he’s not necessarily happy about it.
Rockhold recently took some time to talk with ESPN where he was quick to call Belfort out for the controversial practice.
“When you look at him now, compared to when he fought Anderson Silva, you don’t transform like that naturally,” said Rockhold. “I don’t necessarily trust him, and I don’t necessarily trust the system. Do I think he is cheating? Yes, I do personally. Do I care? Yes and no. I think it helps in some ways but I think it hurts you in more ways. I think it gives you some explosiveness and it can give you strength.”
At the root of Rockhold’s issues seems to be Belfort’s past association with performance enhancing drugs. “The Phenom” was popped years ago and, as a result, the Nevada Athletic Commission has since come forward to say he was not likely to be approved for competition in the State with a TRT exemption in tow.
Fans can find out how Rockhold fares against the 36-year old this Saturday when the two tussle at UFC on FX 8 in the card’s main event. Belfort is 3-0 at middleweight since falling in a title-fight to Silva, while the 10-1 Rockhold has won his last ten tilts including success against Keith Jardine, Tim Kennedy, and Ronaldo Souza.