Luke Rockhold Resumes Full Training, Wants Fabricio Werdum July 8

Luke Rockhold Resumes Full Training, Wants Fabricio Werdum July 8

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is ready to fight—and he has a time and a place lined up.

Mar 28, 2017 by FloCombat Staff
Luke Rockhold Resumes Full Training, Wants Fabricio Werdum July 8
​By Elias Cepeda 

Luke Rockhold is confident that his long wait to get back in the UFC Octagon will soon be over.

Because of persistent knee injuries, the former middleweight world champion has not fought in nearly a year, back at UFC 199, but he now tells FloCombat that he is healed and that his team is in the process of lining up a very specific return date.

“I’m pretty ready at this point,” Rockhold said. “We’ve looked at the dates – July 8, International Fight Week. We’re almost as good as set. The only problem right now is that the opponents are kind of at a minimum. Everyone in my weight class in the top 10 is matched up. That’s why I threw the option out there of the Fabricio Werdum fight.”
The confident American Kickboxing Academy team member recently challenged the former heavyweight champ to a fight, but Werdum has instead said he’s considering a third fight with Alistair Overeem. Rockhold laughs at the idea that MMA fans would be more excited about Werdum vs. Overeem III than a grudge match between he and the Brazilian.
“Given the last fight they had, I don’t think so,” Rockhold laughed. “I think we could create a lot more interest, a lot more hype, and sell a lot more tickets for our fight.”
Rockhold is critical of what he calls the pro-wrestling approach to matchmaking the UFC has recently taken under new ownership, especially within his own middleweight division, where the champion, Michael Bisping, is expected to face former welterweight king Georges St-Pierre in his next title defense.

With that said, Rockhold insists he’s fine with fighting fun-first bouts, which is what jumping two weight classes to fight Werdum would be about.
“If they want to go down this route and they want to sell fights, I like creating interest," Rockhold said. "I like making fights for the fans. I guarantee we could have some fun with that fight. I think a lot of people would be interested in seeing that matchup." 
Rockhold isn’t optimistic that Werdum will accept his challenge, however. Still, the 32-year-old fighter is intent on making his return July 8.
“We’ll see. I think he’s bitching out,” Rockhold said. “I’m just kind of waiting around, trying to find the right opportunity to get back in there, but I think July 8 is our date. I’m into full training now, kicking full-steam ahead. I’m hungry to get back in there and International Fight Week is a beautiful stage to do it on.”