Luke Rockhold Turned Down His Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, Wants to “Earn it a Different Way”
By Jake Chastain
| During the pre-fight press conference yesterday Luke Rockhold once again made it a point to bring up Vitor Belfort‘s TRT use and stated that he felt Belfort, who is currently ranked #2 in the UFC MW division, has to use it because “he lacks something” and Rockhold feels that he can capitalize on that lack of something in Belfort’s game. He also made it a point to bring up the grappling resume that he holds compared to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in Belfort. Here is what Rockhold had to say about his own grappling credentials:
“I’ve been in jiu-jitsu and grappling my whole life. I’m very aware of my body and how I move, and I’ve competed on a world level in jiu-jitsu and I’ve won. I may only be a brown belt, but I have two world championships at blue belt, one at purple belt and I actually turned down my black belt because I wanted to compete at brown belt and win a world championship and try to earn it a different way. Black belts are black belts, I’m very capable of beating anybody. I bring “legitsu” to the table.”
World championships, even if they are not at the black-belt level, speak volumes when it comes to grappling inside the cage. Rockhold is pretty much claiming that he grapples at the black-belt level and he will likely need those skills to shine through if he finds himself on the mat with Belfort tomorrow night.
Rockhold claims that he turned down the black belt and wants to ‘earn it a different way.’ If he could somehow catch and submit Vitor tomorrow night would that be worthy of earning him his black belt? Does Rockhold have a good enough ground game to compete with Belfort on the ground or is he blowing his own bubble much too big?
We’ll find out for certain as the two square off against each other tomorrow night for the main event at UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold. Don’t miss it!