Former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold has one man in focus for his next UFC fight: Vitor Belfort.
Rockhold, who remains on the sidelines recovering from a toe injury, appeared on Wednesday’s “UFC Tonight” to talk about his future. The 29-year-old is coming off a pair of finishes over Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch.
“I want Vitor,” he said. “There aren’t many fights for me right now. How long is Vitor going to be out, that’s the question for me.”
Belfort, the No. 1 contender to the UFC middleweight title, still needs to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission to gain his fight license if he wants to compete in the state. He failed a pre-fight drug test earlier this year and the UFC has since banned the use of TRT, something “The Phenom” was using for his most recent wins – which include a victory over Rockhold.
If not Belfort, Rockhold would also be interested in a rematch from his Strikeforce days. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has climbed the rankings and the American Kickboxing Academy fighter feels that bout could also be of use in gaining a future title shot.
“I thought me and Jacare had a close fight, but he’s ranked above me now so I want to rectify that situation,” he said. “There aren’t many fights for me right now.
“I’m not going to turn down the title shot. If they’re going to give me a title fight, I’ll take it. I want to earn my spot and be the best. I don’t want to be a paper champion. I want to be the best in the world. I feel like I can beat anyone out there.”
As for being fully recovered from the toe injury, Rockhold said “I want to fight soon. September would be ideal, but I could fight in August, too.”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan