Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold’s days in the division are no more after confirming that he will jump up to light heavyweight in 2019.
Rockhold had been hinting at the move for a number months having previously called out both Jon Jones and Alexander Gustaffson.
The long-time teammate of Daniel Cormier is not sure when he will next fight, but believes that a light heavyweight title shot against Jones is inevitable. However, he admits he is not sure who he will have to face in order to get there.
“I was shooting for late March, but we’re looking like early April now,” Rockhold told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour.
“It just depends on what opponents fall where they may. I know Jon really wanted another fight really quick, for some reason. So he got this Anthony Smithfight (at UFC 235), so we’ll see.
“I know a couple of the other top guys are matched up. I think Thiago Santos and Jan Blachowicz (are matched up). Corey Anderson looked decent the other night too. I’m lookin for a top guy.”
Jones will make a quick return to the Octagon following his UFC 232 victory over Gustaffson in December. The champion will face Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, provided that the NSAC grant him a licence.
Rockhold mocked Smith for getting a title shot, claiming that Jones will finish him inside the first round.
“Anthony Smith just got a title shot,” Rockholdsaid .
“He couldn’t sniff a top 10 at middleweight… (Smith’s fight against Jones) will be over in the less than a round. That’s why I don’t understand why they made this fight.”
Despite having a war of words with Gustafsson in the past, Rockhold feels he needs to fight someone else vying for a fight with Jones rather than someone who just lost to the champion.
“Alex is decent,” said Rockhold.
“He obviously has some holes in his game on the ground. So, we’ll see where it lies. We’ll see where he falls back in and what the UFC wants to do.
“Obviously, I want to fight a guy on his way to the title and make a statement. But, it just depends on what falls. There’s a few options. We’re talking to the UFC and we’ll see. We’ll see what falls on the right date. I’m looking for one fight to put me where I need to be.”