Luke Rockhold: Vitor Belfort is a fight that makes sense for me


Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been in the news as of late, with it all centered around his next fight as he makes his way into the UFC fray. Rockhold, who is mentioned among the short list of contenders to face Anderson Silva, has made it no secret that he wants that fight badly.

However he also knows that he has to be realistic, and that he may need to make a firm impression upon the UFC brass before entering the cage to fight Silva. Yesterday, Rockhold spoke to MMA Junkie radio and discussed another possible avenue that could garner him some momentum:

“There aren’t a lot of fights that make a lot of sense right now. Obviously (Chris) Weidman is injured, and he’s out until summer or fall. But Vitor (Belfort) looked pretty good the other night. He turned back the clock and looked like his old self. He’s a legend, and I’d be honored to fight the guy. I think that makes a lot of sense.

That would most definitely be a fight that could get Rockhold’s name familiar with all of the UFC fans that knew little about the failed promotion that was Strikeforce. The UFC is welcoming Strikeforce champions Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier to the Octagon with big fights on April 20th from San Jose, so Rockhold is looking to fight big on that card as well. He addressed the possible situation:

“I’d love to fight on that card. I’m from the Bay Area, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to make my UFC debut in the Bay Area with all my fans. I’d bring all of Santa Cruz and a lot more. Trust me, we’d pack that place.”

“I’d like to come in there and make a splash, and just like everyone else, let’s represent the name. Personally, with this card and San Jose being the home of Strikeforce, this being a big FOX card, and we just shut down Strikeforce, let’s just do an all-UFC-vs.-Strikeforce card.”

Rockhold may have a good point here, as an addition of him facing Vitor Belfort would make the San Jose event an absolute blockbuster card on Fox, and doubly serve to get Strikeforce’s best talent some widespread exposure in a short period of time. Still, he knows that his ultimate goal, a bout with Anderson Silva, is most likely some time off:

“A warmup fight would be nice. I’m not going to lie. Anderson Silva, I’m not sure that would make the most sense right now. My name may not be as big as they want to sell a big pay-per-view like that. But if they want that fight, I’m down to take the fight. I’d take it, no questions asked.”

Rockhold is an effective fighter with some very unpredictable striking and a gas tank that’s  built to last. It appears he’s also smart, admitting he may need some UFC experience before a date with The Spider. His addition to UFC on Fox 7 is a great idea, and Vitor Belfort would make one exciting choice for an opponent. What are your thoughts on Luke Rockhold’s next move?

  • Hmm, I feel like Rockhold needs a win in the UFC before fighting Vitor and especially where Vitor is after that KO on Bisping…. but is there really anything else that makes better sense right now?

    I say let's do it, would be a sick stand up fight

    • Keith – Silva / Belfort 2 in May makes more sense.

      Give Rockhold the winner of Lombard / Okami.

      • I'd like to see Lombard vs Rockhold as well.

      • @MMA Truth…..Belfort is in a strange spot right now. he just beat the NO 2 guy in Michael Bisping but won't get the shot at Middleweight. Then you have Chael fighting Bones so he would have to wait out his time in that weight division as well.. I'm not even sure if Jones would want to fight him again. I don't know who they will give Belfort next.

        • @ Enjoy

          What I don't understand about the whole thing, is that Belfort did Dana and The UFC a BIG favor by taking that fight with Jones. He was under no obligation and the outcome was fairly certain, which, it proved to be. He lost. A loss that he otherwise would not have taken, had he not done Dana the favor.

          There seems to be no quid-pro-quot on this, one. Vitor gave and has gotten nothing in return. Given the current state of this division, the fact that he just beat the #1 contender and did so in a decisive fashion and did so coming off of a loss to the 205 Champ, where he nearly submitted him and did more damage to him, than any man ever has…one would think, that the logical and smart business move here, would be to set a re-match between Silva and Belfort.

          Silva could and may well beat him again, but I personally think that he caught Belfort in the first and I'm not calling it a lucky punch or kick, rather. I'm sure Silva gamed for that kick and he landed it. I just don't think he'll do it again and that a re-match would be considerably more competitive. VB looked in great shape and spirits against MB. I've never seen him look so dynamic. When was the last time we've seen VB throw that many kicks in a fight? And they were solid kicks, man.

          No. The most appropriate and logical move for the 185 division, right now, would be to re-match Silva and Belfort. And IMO, he has more than earned it. He's certainly earned it more than Sonnen did the Jones fight.

          Speaking of which, I am looking forward to the premier of TUF this evening.

      • Is Costa Phillipou fighting anyone? That would make the most sense in my mind then the winner could be right in the title mix (well maybe not Phillipou yet but that'd still be a big win).

  • First round TKO for you know who…

  • Yeah because what DONT make sense is Silva making him a highlite victim in his UFC debut

    • "Does'nt"….Highlight….8))

      • Thanks for the corrections & the next time i see Nick @ the Harbor Side CC i will tell him that his biggest fan from Texas said hello.

  • Bisbing number two?Someones delusional..I think Philippou vs Rockhold makes perfect sence Sonnens fighting an uphill battle and Weidmans injured Costa just broke Boetches streak the winner could fight Munoz or Weidman I know these guys arent number two like Bisbing,(sarcasm) but the winner gets a shot at the confusing goat…AS.Vitor..Hes one win away from a rematch with AS but he calls out Bones,Sonnen.Did he forget what weight class hes fighting don't get me wrong I respect the fact he don't care what weight class,oldschool thinking no ducking fights but one thing at a time he should fight Munoz or Weidman then,title shot,and im out.

  • Rockhold vs Vitor makes pretty good sense to me and I'd like to see that fight. I'd also like to see Lombard vs Belfort I think that would be a crazy matchup. As much as Vitor may deserve another crack at Silva I doubt it will happen. If Silva is offered to fight Vitor Belfort again from Dana White I don't understand why he would take this fight after destroying him the first time. If he is forced to fight Vitor he might as well just move to 205 and fight Jones. I don't think Silva has too many fights left in his career and I don't know why he would want to waste one on someone he has already be so decisivley. He has nothing to gain at all from beating the same fighter twice. Did we really need to see him destroy Rich Franklin twice?