Luke Rockhold Dubs Robert Whittaker ‘True’ UFC Middleweight Champion

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Following his crushing win over former World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) dual-weight champ David Branch, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has his eyes back on UFC gold.

The Californian spoke to the media following his second round win over Branch in the main event of last night’s (Sat. September 16, 2017) UFC Fight Night 116 event from Pittsburgh, claiming to recognize interim division champion Robert Whittaker as the legitimate champion at 185 pounds – not Michael Bisping (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“Whittaker is definitely an interesting fight,” Rockhold said. “I think he’s the true champion right now – the man who fights the fights that count, other than some poser up there running away with the belt.”

Don Wright for USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to who should get the next crack at the middleweight throne following Bisping and Georges St-Pierre’s title clash this November, Whittaker has that spot reserved thanks to his interim title. Its seems that a match-up would perhaps have to take place between Rockhold and Weidman to determine who advances in the title picture after that, but that doesn’t seem to interest the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product too much:

“Chris Weidman’s lost three in a row,” Rockhold said. “That doesn’t make much sense at this point. I’d rather not do that again at the moment.”

Rockhold did express interest in eventually making a jump up to 205 pounds in the near future, noting that his cut down to middleweight can be tough at times:

“I’ll fight light heavyweight,” Rockhold said. “The weight cut was rough. I’m not going to lie, it always is. … I’d love to go to light heavyweight. I’d do really well. In the gym, it’s more natural for me. I think I could do things. But ‘DC’ is obviously the man in the division right now. I’m not going up until he gets out. If he goes up or he retires, you can damn well guarantee I’m coming up. I have business to do here first.”

As it pertains to his performance against Branch, Rockhold was overall satisfied with how he performed but admitted that he didn’t expect the former WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight champ to come out as aggressive as he did:

“I was OK with (my performance),” Rockhold said. “I didn’t expect him to come forward so hard. I wanted to find my timing, get my range. It was a bit of a weight cut and just trying to get my bearings there in the clinch and figure it out. When I’m best, I wait.”

Don Wright for USA TODAY Sports
  • HeteroFriendly

    By the natural laws of the real world, he’s the 185 champion employed by the UFC.

    But by the laws of the ufc PRODUCT,
    as determined by the hollywood bloodsuckers who own it and write the script,
    thats michael bisping.