Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold will be making his UFC debut next month in Brazil against a legend in the one and only Vitor Belfort. The young AKA product is beyond fired up to make his mark on the world’s biggest MMA promotion, and he started up the trash talk this week, telling MMA Mania:
“I think my advantage is 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. I have plenty of ways to win this fight. And most of all, I got more heart than Vitor. I think I’m more of a man than Vitor.”
Quite the bold words from a man who hasn’t even stepped into the Octagon once. Indeed, Rockhold may hold the advantage in some areas over Belfort, or he may not. It’s very debatable at this point because both fighters are near the top of the division. They both also possess a litany of skills and weapons in the cage, Belfort with his jiujitsu and Rockhold with the wrestling he’s most likely learned from Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Jon Fitch at AKA. Rockhold knows that Belfort also has one other advantage on his side, his now widely-known use of TRT. Rockhold isn’t scared though, and in fact he claimed quite the opposite:
I’m fired up about [his testosterone replacement therapy, TRT]. It just fuels me even more. It just motivates me to train and it just puts a little chip on my shoulder. I’m pushing myself like nobody else. It sounds like I’ve got lots of fans out there and once I beat Vitor, obviously, I’ll bring everybody to my side. From what I hear, a lot of Brazilians don’t like Vitor. They don’t like his cheating ways and I’m getting a lot of support on social media from Brazilians. So, I’m excited. I get a free trip to Brazil, I get paid, and I get to kick someone’s ass.”
Luke Rockhold has come out with authority, stating than many of Belfort’s countrymen don’t even support the longtime UFC contender. But many other Brazilians do support Belfort, so it will be interesting to see how the Brazilian crowd reacts when the two lock horns May in three weeks. How do you compare the skills of Rockhold and Belfort for this pivotal matchup?