On Saturday night, in the main event of UFC 239, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Thiago Santos will step into the cage together with gold on the line. Earlier on the same card, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will make his light heavyweight debut against Jan Blachowicz. If he’s successful, he believes he could be rewarded with a shot at the Jones vs. Santos winner.
From the sounds of it, Luke Rockhold considers a Jon Jones win a near certainty. And because Jones’ arch rival Daniel Cormier is tied up at heavyweight, the former middleweight champ believes the path to a fight with Jones is wide open.
“Look at the division, look at the people there. I’m fighting the No. 6 ranked guy in the world. Look what’s ahead of me. There aren’t that many options for Mr. Jon Jones and I’ve proven myself in this game. I’m not looking to f**king dance around. I’m looking to go straight through. Straight to Jon,” Rockhold told MMA Fighting.
“D.C.’s got a fight coming up. He ain’t fighting that fight [against Jon Jones] any time soon. He’s got a heavyweight fight coming up. I’ll be prepared for what’s there. I’m going to go handle my business and we’re going to see where the lay of the land is. I’ll be proving myself July 6.”
Luke Rockhold has not fought since February 2018, when he was nuked in the third round of a middleweight showdown with Yoel Romero. In his next most recent fight, he scored a stoppage win over David Branch. This win was preceded by an upset, knockout loss to Michael Bisping, which spelled the end of his title reign.
His debut light heavyweight opponent Jan Blachowicz, meanwhile, was recently knocked out by Santos, and will be looking to reestablish himself as one of the top contenders for Jon Jones’ title.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/3/2019.