Luke Rockhold has reacted to Sean Strickland’s knockout loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 276.
It was Sean Strickland (25-4 MMA) vs Alex Pereira (6-1 MMA) in a middleweight bout last Saturday, July 2nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The result was Pereira thrusting a devastating left hook dropping Strickland to the canvas at 2:36 of the first round.
In speaking with ‘Submission Radio’, Luke Rockhold weighed in on his thoughts on the fight (h/t MMAFighting):
“I think he (Sean) got conned by the system. Sean, he just proved how f****** dumb he is. The system wanted him to try and stand with him and prove that stupid point, and he just (fell for it). It happens. It happens to a lot of people. You try to over-prove yourself and do something stupid. That’s the game, that’s the fight game. It’s a mental f***** battle, and he lost the battle.”
Rockhold (16-5 MMA) and Strickland have a bit of a history – they were supposed to fight at UFC 268 in November of 2021, but Rockhold was forced out due to injury. The fight was never rescheduled.
Rockhold spoke about the UFC’s decision to put Strickland against Pereira saying:
“Yeah, it’s an intriguing story, Alex Pereira has beat Izzy twice. And so you’re looking at any level of intrigue, and so they’re looking for someone that they can throw in the mix, even though Alex Pereira would get mauled by, 20 guys in the UFC would probably maul him. But yeah, it’s a compelling story if you get him past a brawler like Sean Strickland. So, they did it, and it’s up and going. So, it’s my job to go f****** deter that.”
Rockhold is scheduled to fight Paulo Costa (13-2 MMA) in August of this year at UFC 278. He is hoping he can defeat Costa and jump in front of Pereira in the standings saying:
“Anything is possible with this fight and in this fight. Of course. I mean, Marvin Vettori is the No. 1 guy in the world, right? Or Whittaker? Paulo’s only been smoked by Izzy. Vettori barely, he didn’t do anything great against him last time. So, if I can go out there and smoke him, it’s gonna tell.”
Concluding, Rockhold believes he deserves another title shot and wants to unseat the champ Israel Adesanya and reclaim the title saying:
“I know how to fight Izzy. It’s a straightforward fight. He’s a tough fight, man. He’s a big puzzle. He’s the most complicated puzzle there is at middleweight that there’s been for a long time. So, it’s going to be interesting. But I think with the right game, that’s my fight. We were talking the other night and I think the hardest fight for me right now is Whittaker. But if I play the right game with many of these guys, it’s my fight. So, I just gotta be level-headed and focused and f****** go out there and do my thing.”
Adesanya (23-1 MMA) is coming off his fifth consecutive successful middleweight title defence at UFC 276 where he defeated Jared Cannonier (15-6 MMA).
There are many fans who would like to see Adesanya vs Pereira next as they believe he poses the biggest threat to the champions reign at the top of the 185lb division.
Rockhold on the other hand believes he will be the one to dethrone Adesanya when the time comes.
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