Luke Rockhold is hoping to share the Octagon with Israel Adesanya so he can test himself against the best.
Rockhold, the former Strikeforce, and UFC middleweight champion is set to return to the Octagon at UFC 277 on July 30 against Paulo Costa. It’s his first fight since Jan Blachowicz brutally knocked him out in his light heavyweight debut. Although he has not fought since 2019, Rockhold is getting the fourth-ranked middleweight and if he wins he would be right back in the title picture.
However, for Rockhold, he says he doesn’t care about the title. Instead, he just wants to fight the best, which is why he’s targeting a bout against Adesanya/
For @LukeRockhold it’s not about the belt but wanting to “test myself against the best” in Israel Adesanya:
“Anybody who looks at the belt and just wants the belt is a bitch. I look at the champion and I want to take the champion to be the champion. It’s not the belt.” pic.twitter.com/EGjItYErV2
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) May 25, 2022
“I don’t see what people think, is it the belt? Is it the belt? Anybody who looks at the belt and just wants the belt is a b***h. I look at the champion and I want to take (out) the champion to be the champion,” Rockhold said to Submission Radio. “It’s not the belt. Interim belts are always bulls**t. You don’t look at the f*****g belt like, oh, the belts going to make you a champion. Beating the champion makes you a f*****g champion. So, that’s what you focus on, is the f*****g champion… I want to fight Israel and test myself against the best.”
Luke Rockhold certainly has a point and should he defeat Paulo Costa at UFC 277 he could very well get his wish of fighting Israel Adesanya. Yet, before any of that happens, both Rockhold and Adesanya – who’s fighting Jared Cannonier at UFC 276 – need to win their fights.
Should that happen, a scrap between Rockhold and Adesanya would be massive and filled with trash-talking. It will also give the former champ his chance to test himself against the best which he has done since joining the UFC.
Would you like to see Luke Rockhold vs. Israel Adesanya?