Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier are long-time friends and training partners at American Kickboxing Academy in California.
From the sounds of it, however, Rockhold wasn’t totally sure what to make of the future two-division UFC champion when they first met many years ago.
Rockhold looked back on his first encounters with Cormier during a recent appearance on Submission Radio.
“We were all a couple of years into AKA, me and Cain, and then DC came along,” Rockhold recounted. “You see a lot of wrestlers come over. Duane Zinkin and Bob Cook, they would recruit a bunch of wrestlers, and they thought that obviously their pedigree would catapult them to being good fighters. Well, it wasn’t always the case. A lot of them would come in humbled. And I kind of forgot about my wrestling after a certain point, after high school, and didn’t follow it all that much. I do remember a little bit of DC when I was in high school, but he came in and was just a loudmouth and was just f**king owing it. I remember he was just instigating fights, like right off the bat, like he’d been there for years. And I was like, who the f**k is this guy? Like, can’t even fight, you know, I wanna see what’s up.
“I watched him later that night, some of his wrestling matches and I familiarized myself with them, and I was actually, kind of started liking him that night, just watching him,” Rockhold added. “Because I could see that he was like fighting guys after his wrestling matches and getting real physical and just showing emotion, and I like people that have that in them. And I was like [to Javier Mendez], ‘I wanna f**kin, I wanna go with DC tomorrow.’ And they were already pretty high on him, and DC was probably 260 [pounds] at the time, something like that. I was 205 wet, soaking wet at the time.
“So we went at it and we had a good sparring match,” Rockhold concluded. “Then I liked him even more. We beat the f**kin’ crap out of each other. I kicked him in the head, he slammed me on my head, and it went on and on. Then he started throwing dogs, throwing punches, and he couldn’t do anything. Then and there, I was like, I kind of like this guy.”
Daniel Cormier is slated to challenge Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 252 this weekend. Luke Rockhold, meanwhile, recently laid out plans for a comeback. The pair remain friends and occasional training parters at AKA.