By Lewis Mckeever:
The American Kickboxing Academy representative and Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is on a quest to capture UFC gold. Bursting with confidence, the 27 year old has collated together an impressive 9-1 record in Mixed Martial Arts, with wins against established and seasoned competitors.
Claiming the Strikeforce Middleweight championship from Brazilian Jujitsu ace Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza and knocking out former UFC icon Keith Jardine in the first round has really cemented Rockhold’s presence in the Middleweight division.
Luke is anticipated to square off against army veteran Tim Kennedy for his first title defence, though the bout has yet to be officially confirmed. The champ recently caught up with MMA fighting’s Mike Chiappetta:
“I’m trying to do what I can, and I think Tim Kennedy is another huge step in that direction. By no means is he a stepping stone, because he’s a very tough guy. It will take a lot to beat him and it would mean a lot to beat him. He’s a very underrated fighter, and I’m looking forward to keep proving my status, if that’s what I have to do. But I feel I can compete with anyone in the world at my weight class, and I’m going to prove that by keeping on winning.”
“He’s a tough guy, so tenacious, and just doesn’t want to give up,” he said. “He’s going to keep coming for the takedown. He’s not going to quit but I’ve got to break him. My wrestling defense is one of my best attributes, so I feel very comfortable in that. I’m just going to try to break him on the takedown the whole time, and I’m going to try to play my range on the feet. If we get to the ground, I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu. I just don’t want to be on bottom. He’s a beast on top, so I ain’t going to have that.”
Rockhold’s words ooze with confidence, but he also appears to be well grounded and focused on his potential opponent.
The Californian then proceeds to chatter about his aspirations of fighting Anderson Silva in the near future:
“It’s the dream fight. I’m here to fight the best in the world, and it’d be a dream to fight Anderson Silva. If I didn’t fight him before his career was over, it would be a disappointment to me. I want to fight the best in the world, and fighting him would be amazing. And getting him while he’s champion? Everyone wants to be that guy to beat him. I want to go down in the books. I hope he keeps going, because I want that fight.
“I am the Strikeforce champ. But I feel like I’m in contention for his belt. That’s how I look at it sometimes. I am the champion of Strikeforce, but I’m looking to be the best in the world, and I can’t prove that without fighting the guys in the UFC. So, eventually, that’s what I’m going to need to do.”
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