Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been absent from the Octagon since his June 2016 loss to Michael Bisping which saw the champion lose his title belt in the very first round. The loss to Bisping not only saw him lose the middleweight title, but also snapped a 5-fight win streak that spanned back to just Rockhold’s second UFC fight, and saw him finish five straight opponents, including Chris Weidman to win the UFC title.
Now, with fellow former middleweight champion Anderson Silva without an opponent for his upcoming UFC 212 scrap after Kelvin Gastelum was pulled from the scrap due to a USADA violation for marijuana, Rockhold has informed Padlokt that he plans to step in to fight Anderson Silva.
While there has been no official word from the UFC on this situation, UFC President Dana White spoke to MMAJunkie about Silva being left without an opponent:
“Obviously Anderson was willing to take on Kelvin Gastelum, who is a very tough and dangerous guy. I got to talk to Anderson. You all know, everybody in this room knows what it’s like dealing with Anderson. Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s just a process. It’s a process that I’m going to have to go through now.”
“One of the things that I’ve always respected about Anderson – he didn’t want to fight Chael Sonnen again,” White said. “He said, ‘The guy is disrespectful, he’s a punk, and he doesn’t deserve to fight me.’ He fought him. There’s always been times where – Anderson steps up, and Anderson fights. Anderson and fought (Daniel) Cormier at (UFC) 200. He’s a stud, man. He’s the (greatest of all time), and I’m looking forward to walking through this process for the Luke Rockhold fight. We’ll see what happens.”
Stay tuned for updates regarding this situation as they become available!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/11/2017.