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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Luke Rockhold wants Vitor Belfort, UFC vs. Strikeforce theme at UFC on FOX 7

Luke Rockhold wants Vitor Belfort, UFC vs. Strikeforce theme at UFC on FOX 7
By (Dann Stupp)

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If the UFC wants to put together a champion-vs.-champion fight, final Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold is down for a matchup with UFC champ Anderson Silva.

But if Rockhold gets his wish, April's UFC on FOX 7 event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., could have a pretty interesting theme.

"There aren't a lot of fights that make a lot of sense right now," he today told Radio ( "Obviously (Chris) Weidman is injured, and he's out until summer or fall. But Vitor (Belfort) looked pretty good the other night. He turned back the clock and looked like his old self. He's a legend, and I'd be honored to fight the guy. I think that makes a lot of sense."

This past weekend, Belfort returned to the middleweight division and spoiled Michael Bisping's title shot with a vicious second-round knockout. But rather than campaign for a rematch with middleweight champ Silva, Belfort instead focused on light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who defeated him this past September.

However, with Belfort (22-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC) unlikely to get his Jones rematch anytime soon, he needs a high-profile middleweight opponent. Enter Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

The Californian said he's talked to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva about some possibilities in the division, but with recent losses from contenders such as Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch – and another desired opponent, Hector Lombard, scheduled to fight Yushin Okami in March – it's slim pickings.

"But now Belfort won, and he makes sense," Rockhold said. "Lombard could be down the line too. Who knows? I just want to fight. Truthfully, Belfort probably makes the most unless they want to do a champion vs. champion fight (with Silva). But I'm game for whatever they want."

Rockhold, who said he's again training at 100 percent after his recovery from a recent wrist injury, will be ready to go by April. The month already has three UFC events scheduled, including UFC on FOX 7. That April 20 event already features two former Strikeforce fighters, including headliner Gilbert Melendez and noted heavyweight Daniel Cormier (who face UFC Benson Henderson and Frank Mir, respectively).

So why not continue the theme, Rockhold asked?

"I'd love to fight on that card," he said. "I'm from the Bay Area, and there's nothing I'd like more than to make my UFC debut in the Bay Area with all my fans. I'd bring all of Santa Cruz and a lot more. Trust me, we'd pack that place."

So why does he feel he and the other Strikeforce fighters feel like they have something to prove?

"I mean, how could we not?" he said. "We've been dealing with it for quite a while now. There are a lot of nuthuggers out there – UFC nuthuggers. I'd like to come in there and make a splash, and just like everyone else, let's represent the name. Personally, with this card and San Jose being the home of Strikeforce, this being a big FOX card, and we just shut down Strikeforce, let's just do an all-UFC-vs.-Strikeforce card.

"I think that makes a lot of sense and there could be a lot of hype behind that. Then we can really keep score."

Still if an immediate title shot is in the cards, Rockhold's in.

"I really don't care," he said. "A warmup fight would be nice. I'm not going to lie. Anderson Silva, I'm not sure that would make the most sense right now. My name may not be as big as they want to sell a big pay-per-view like that. But if they want that fight, I'm down to take the fight. I'd take it, no questions asked."
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 09:38 PM
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Now that is a fight I want to see.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 09:38 PM
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No, Bisping Vs Rockhold is better

Though this fight would be fun. But Vitor is going to get caught for something. mark my words

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 10:29 PM
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Didn't he ask for Philippou. Ask and you shall receive...

You know Vitor's the only fighter from that era who still fights the same and hasn't deteriorated much at all. Uncanny.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 10:41 PM
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Okami vs Weidman
Philippou vs Jacare
Bisping vs Rockhold
Belfort vs Lombard

Make it happen Dana.

As we have seen from the Sonnen thing, it no longer matters if they are already set up to fight someone. Of course Sonnen could have just been a special case.

Last edited by Buakaw_GSP; 01-21-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:02 PM
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I would rather see Vitor in LHW atleast for a couple of fights. Vitor would knock Rockhold's head clean off his shoulders.Bisping or Phillipou V Rockhold is a fight I like.

NoMercy, Disco Dan is still kicking it at the top too, but yeah, those two and Anderson are the only guys still at the top from that era.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:08 PM
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I think this fight makes sense... Then the winner fights Silva.... Who else is going to Fight Silva, everybody else has lost or has been injured. Guys who have just lost..Bisping, Timmy, Belcher, Chael, Lombard, Munoz. Then Chris Weidman will have been inactive for over 1 year when he comes back.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:24 PM
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Costa now Vitor?

Why isn't he making a case for the Anderson fight?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TheLyotoLegion View Post
Costa now Vitor?

Why isn't he making a case for the Anderson fight?
Well first he has to win his Strikeforce belt that he lost to Bisping in training who then tapped to strikes from Vitor.

I mean it's pretty embarrassing to lose your belt to the man who made a Gregory Hines impersonation to Vitor.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TheLyotoLegion View Post
Costa now Vitor?

Why isn't he making a case for the Anderson fight?
Some people would, but others do not want to get ahead of themselves. Their will be some who willingly would jump at the chance for a Title even if it means getting smashed. Their are others who believe that they are not ready and have a more reasonable expectation of themselves. It might have cost Hioki and Machida their title shot but if they cant beat some top contenders, then no way can they beat the champion.

He probably would get an Anderson Silva "Unification" Fight if he pushed for it enough. But he still believes that its too soon and he is not ready. Its in contrast to Weidman who after beating Munoz thinks he is already ready to beat Silva. Confidence is good, but I can respect fighters who want to be brought along more slowly and climb that ladder to respectability and name recognition, than being fodder.
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