Luke Rockhold Prefers Whittaker Over Romero For Next Opponent


Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold recently got back to his winning ways, finishing veteran David Branch in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 116 main event, which took place in Pittsburgh on Sept. 16, 2017.

Now focused on retaining his title, Rockhold was asked on yesterday’s (Sept. 25, 2017) edition of The MMA Hour if he’d be interesting in fighting fellow top contender Yoel Romero, who’s coming off of a loss to interim champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 215 this past July.

Rockhold, however, made it clear that he’d rather fight Whittaker, although he also said that he’s uninterested in fighting for ‘little change’:

“I’d be interested in Whittaker. I want the title. Everything is gauged to get to the title, to get the money. I want money fights, that’s what I am here for,” he said.

“I am turning 33, I’m not getting any younger and I want to set myself up. I’m not fighting for this little change, you know. I want the real money. Everything is structured to be there. Like I said before, I want a path, I want a direction and with both titles being held hostage, there is no point fighting anybody until they straighten things out. Or unless they pull up the title,” Rockhold said.

Whittaker, however, is currently dealing with an injury. Middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who stole the title from Rockhold in June 2016, on the other hand, is set to defend his 185-pound strap against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 on Nov. 4, 2017.

With that being said, Rockhold also said that a move up to light heavyweight could certainly take place for him in the future:

“Obviously I’d like to finish my business here at Middleweight, but I have been thinking about it for a long time. I’m a lot more explosive. The weight cut is definitely affecting me, and it takes time to shake off that nerve and get the feel back. I feel good at Light Heavyweight I feel great.”

Who would you like to see Rockhold fight next?

  • ernesto chavez

    Totally in support of Mr. Rockhold and his observations.

    With that in mind, what ever happened with the so called Fighters Association or Union?
    Were the organizers bought off or did fighters not want to join?

    It appears that it’s back to business as usual and every fighter for themselves.

    • Draven

      the fighters were only in it for themselves apparently.

  • steven

    Rockhold ate some heavy shots against Branch. A legit power puncher or even a cleaner/crisper MMA boxer like Bisping probably would have KO’d him in that fight. No doubt Rochkold is nearly unmatched on the ground and the finish of Branch was beyond question as nasty as it was impressive. Still– he ate some shots and that does his chin no good long term. If the weight-cut is affecting him, (and I do not doubt that it is), and there is any improvement to be had in his chin and overall durability in fights as a result of moving up in weight, he better do it now before he takes any more damage. The worst thing that could happen to him is that he have two more hard fought victories at middleweight, (might be worth it to him if he wins the title), and then arrives at 205lbs with a suspect chin. His grappling/ground game may not be so mighty at that weight. He may have to fight in the standup more than he realizes. Meanwhile, from what we know and considering there may be no substantial gain in chin/durability with the move up in weight– Glover, Manuwa, Gus, Volkan…God forbid Rumble’s coming back, all could put him to sleep with a single shot.

    Feast on that Lowkick hipsters. Furthermore, the real reason he prefers Whittaker to Romero is that we all know there is a chance he may not be able to blow Mr. Poopy Pants out on the ground. Rockhold may not even get Whittaker to the ground, (which means if he doesn’t, Mr. Bobby Knuckles will commit a homicide that night) ,but he has to believe if he does, he holds a massive advantage there.

    • deepgrim

      thats some nice analysis, i do wonder if the chin can absorb more when they go up a weight class myself, whittakers chin at 185 seems so much more solid than at 170 or maybe he is faster and hasnt got tagged as bad. It seems strange with heavy hitters up a division tho, i would have to look into it more, maybe the biggest disadvantage about going up a division is the size for grappling which i dont think will bother luke.

    • Draven

      Manuwa has shown his chin isn’t very good and hasn’t got much of a ground game. Rockhold would smoke that fool!