After finishing former champion Chris Weidman at UFC 194 to become the undisputed middleweight boss, Luke Rockhold realized that he had quite a few options as to who his first title defense would be against.
Originally he had expressed interest in a rematch with bitter rival Vitor Belfort. It seemed, however, as if Yoel Romero, who toppled Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 194, was the leading man and there was also the possibility of a rematch with Weidman.
According to Rockhold, Romero and Weidman seem to be the top choices. The champion added that Weidman has been very persistent in asking for a rematch, something Rockhold is willing to grant:
“We’ve talked and from what I see there’s a couple of fights on the table — there’s Yoel Romero and there’s Chris Weidman,” Rockhold told FOX Sports on Wednesday. “I think Chris Weidman, he’s been the longtime reigning champion, I know he’s begging for a shot. He’s been harassing Dana (White) from what I understand since the day after the fight and I’m not opposed to giving him what he wants if he really likes it.”
As far as Romero goes, Rockhold feels as if “The Soldier of God” just didn’t perform well enough at UFC 194 to earn a shot at gold:
“Yoel Romero, he had his opportunity to go show up and earn a title shot and I think he underperformed. I want a guy the fans are going to demand and want. Unfortunately he couldn’t fight the second and the third round. This is about selling a fight and making money and it’s business. As much as I want to go out and fight whoever, this is a long training camp, it’s a championship training camp and I want to do it for the right fight, the right paycheck and the right time.”
With that being said, it seems as if a rematch with Weidman could indeed be next for the fledgling champion. Despite finishing the first fight in brutal fashion, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product has a lot he hopes to improve on:
“I’ve got a lot to prove and I’m out there to reach my potential and I’m far from that. I’m out there to go put on a flawless performance. I’m not happy with my performance against Chris so if we’re going to do it again, I’m going to go out there looking to execute and be perfect next time.”
If Rockhold and Weidman go at it again, will the outcome remain the same?