Rockhold is currently booked to face Paulo Costa, a former foe of Adesanya, at UFC 277. The former champion has been out of action for the past two years, having taken an extended layoff after suffering a brutal KO loss at the hands of Jan Blachowicz in a failed attempt to move up in weight.
Whilst Costa will certainly be an extremely tough test for Rockhold, the former champ is already looking past ‘Borrachina,’ with his sights set on ‘The Last Stylebender.’ In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Luke Rockhold explained his motivation in wanting to fight Adesanya, stating that:
“I don’t see what people think, is it the belt? Is it the belt? Anybody who looks at the belt and just wants the belt is a b*tch. I look at the champion and I want to take the champion to be the champion. It’s not the belt. Interim belts are always bullshit. You don’t look at the fucking belt like, ‘oh, the fucking belt will make you a champion’. Beating the champion makes you a f*cking champion. So, that’s what you focus on, is the fucking champion.”
“I want to fight Israel and test myself against the best.”
Luke Rockhold thinks a win over Paulo Costa puts him right back in the mix of 185lb contenders
Luke Rockhold went on to remark that a win over Paulo Costa should place him right back in the No.2 ranked position he held prior to his move up to 205lbs. He states that:
“You guys think about when I left, I was the number two-ranked middleweight in the world and I lost to Yoel Romero, who missed weight by three pounds in a title fight, which I killed myself too. So, I haven’t lost my spot, really. I mean, I should be still – obviously time away, this and that, yes, yes, yes, but I gotta reclaim my fucking position right here against the number four guy and beat him and put him away like nobody has. Give me what’s mine.”
“I never think about anything but the top. The top of the food chain. The fact that I’m coming back is because I think I can beat everybody. Everybody. Nobody’s standing in my way. As long as I relax and I fight to my potential, on any given day it’s my day. I guarantee.”
How do you think Luke Rockhold would fare against Israel Adesanya?