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Former UFC Champion Rockhold Becoming Disgruntled Fighter

Former UFC champion Luke Rockhold stopped by “Submission Radio” recently to discuss when he’ll return to the Octagon.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

What Luke thought of Whittaker’s win over Romero

“You know, it was telling. Whittaker showed a lot of potential in the Jacare fight and you were wondering how that would carry over in this fight. I liked what he did there and it seemed real so I expected him to do well. How he fended off the wrestling of Yoel was the big sign that kind of proved to me the kid is for real, so good on him and I’m happy – happy for him and Australia.”

If Luke was offered the fight with Whittaker or Romero for the interim belt

“No, they were working around that, doing what they could and that’s what I wanted. I wanted a belt on the line, I wanted to make some movement in the division and thankfully they did that. So now we have something. I’ve been wanting to fight myself for some time, I just get delayed, week after week, month after month and I’m pretty sick of it. The division, it’s hard to find somebody that wants to fight these days, and so that’s relevant I guess to some extent, and so now I think I’m finally zeroed in and I’m gonna make something happen here shortly. You know, back in, first it was June, it was Anderson. They offered the fight, I accepted the fight, they tried to make the fight. It was a short-notice fight, it was about five weeks for me and I was definitely not in shape but I was willing to go to Brazil and get it done, and Anderson, you know, copped out of that one. And then they switched their gears towards Gegard Mousasi. I was ready to make the fight happen July 8th but it wasn’t – they were actually looking at Anderson and Gegard both for July 8th and 29th and Gegard obviously went in his direction. I don’t know his thoughts but Anderson didn’t want to fight and so I don’t know. I’m just left in the wind and I’m pretty sick of it. I need a fight.”

Luke’s thoughts on Gegard going to Bellator and how difficult it was for him to lose that fight opportunity

“Gegard was the fight to make, the fight I wanted, the fight I’ve been interested in for some time. I’ve been watching Gegard through the circuits. So they seemingly thought they had the fight done. I waited and waited and they postponed it and postponed it and sure enough he jumped ship. I’m not sure exactly what went wrong with the relationship but we’ve lost the fight and it’s time to move on.”

If Gegard leaving hurt the division

“Any time you lose top-tier talent I think it definitely takes away from the sport. So he’s a tough guy. You know, he obviously proved himself in organization after organization that he can compete and that he can stay at the top. So it didn’t work out.”

If seeing Gegard leave makes Luke think about possibly going over to Bellator like many others

“My focus is getting back the (UFC) world title. I know what I’m capable of and that’s what I’m doing. So that’s where my attention is turned and that’s where my focus is and that’s where I’ll be.”

On Luke’s recent comments about how the middleweight division is “f**ked”, “no interesting fights”

“at the time, yeah, we needed some movement, we got a little bit. Something happened at least with Whittaker and Romero and we’ll see what’s to come but it’s definitely a weird spot right now. The division was so strong and it got stalled out and it’s got some issues. Some guys won’t fight other guys and we’re stuck, stuck in a holding pattern. So we’ll see what comes of the division, but I’m just trying to get a somewhat relevant fight and put myself back to where I need to be.

Who the next likely opponent for Luke is and if Luke is happy to wait to see how the division plays out before he gets his next opponent

“I’m not really happy to wait anymore, so we’ll see. We’ll see. There’s probably a few guys and we might just have to settle and make something happen. So we are talking, we’re in the midst of it, in the heat of it all right now. So we’ll see. We’ll see what comes to surface, but something will arise here shortly.”

“Someone in the top ten”

When Luke wants to have a fight booked

“September is looking good. We’ll see. My body feels good, I’m ready to fight and that falls into my timeframe. So I don’t want to postpone much further than that. I’ve been ready to fight since June and July and we’ve postponed week after week and just trying to find me an opponent, so I’m pretty sick of it. I am ready to fight. I’m sure you’ll see something happen here shortly.”

If he’s had the chance to straighten things out with Dana White since their recent Twitter back and forth

“Yeah, yeah. We’re talking, we’re cool. Everything’s straight. (We’re) on good terms.”

How Daniel Cormier is looking ahead of UFC 214 compared when he fought Jon Jones the first time in 2014

“DC’s looking good. I just got rounds with him this week and he’s sharp and he’s definitely up to the game and I think his head’s in a better place. He’s been there, he’s done that. It was a different circumstance last time around, so you know, we’ll see what kind of Jon shows up this time. Obviously, there’s been a lot of things happening between everything, so yeah, I think DC is much better equipped I’d say this time around. And given how the last fight went, I thought it was fairly close and I think it doesn’t take much to turn that thing around and take a couple of rounds and take that fight. So I’m excited to see what’s to come.”

“I’ll be cageside. I’ll be there for this fight.”

Luke’s message for the middleweight division

“My message is, I’ll send my message when I fight (laughs). I’ll send a big message and it’ll come soon.”

“I think my performance will speak for itself, yeah. I think I’ll go out there and I’ll show that time away has not hurt me. I feel as sharp as ever and I’ll be right back on top here shortly.”

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