Strikeforce: Luke Rockhold Discusses Title Fight With Tim Kennedy

Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Strikeforce may be riddled with marketing issues and lack of media coverage, but one thing they have going for them, at least for tonight, is a great card. It's stacked from top to bottom, and I've been looking forward to it for weeks. With two title fights on the line, it's a shame it wasn't promoted more. The main event features a great match-up with middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold facing off against a very tough, Tim Kennedy. I recently got a quick interview with Luke to discuss the fight.

Stephie Daniels: I'm sure it goes without saying that you had a good training camp, but I did read an interesting tweet of yours about your resting heart rate. Elaborate on that.

Luke Rockhold: Yeah, my camp was the best one yet. As far as my heart rate, I like to be in good shape. I think five rounds is always going to favor me. Cardio is a big focus for me, especially for this fight. My heart rate is almost always consistently in the low 30's. I'm reading at 34 or 35. I feel amazing.

Stephie Daniels: I've seen some interviews with Tim Kennedy where he's stated that he's contemplating going back to active duty military service. It seems like he's spreading himself a little thin, as far as where his mind is at. Do you feel that maybe his focus is going to be a factor in this fight?

Luke Rockhold: Yeah. If his head is not completely herein this fight, he's in big trouble. I center my life around fighting and I'm solely focused on my goal of retaining my title. If he's not focused, he's in for a world of hurt. I don't know if he's trying to play games or what he's trying to do, but he better have his head in the game or he's in big trouble.

Stephie Daniels: You were very outspoken after Clay Guida's latest showing about the way Greg Jackson's guys are fighting. Do you think you'll encounter the same problem Gray Maynard did?

Luke Rockhold: I know Tim is backing Clay in this, and that's his teammate, but I couldn't do that. If you're my teammate and you fought like that, I can't credit your gameplan. Tim even made some comments where I was just like, 'What the Hell is he seeing?' I have no idea what he saw in that fight, because from many standpoints, that was not a good gameplan. I don't see how anyone could see Guida winning that fight. He ran the whole fight. He landed a couple shots, but they didn't do anything serious.

I don't think Kennedy is going to employ that gameplan. If he stays outside like that, well, I'm a big kicker, and you don't want to stay outside like that. I think what he'll do is play the outside a little bit and then try to explode inside, and take me down. I think his plan will be to try to hold me down. He's got a good double leg, so I've got to make him pay for his shots, and I've got to make him tired, every time he tries to hold me down.

Stephie Daniels: Who's your "go to" training partner at AKA?

Luke Rockhold: I've got a lot of guys that help me out. Nate James is always training with me. He's one of the unsung heroes of the gym. We've got some really good wrestlers in there and I feel more than prepared.

Stephie Daniels: This card is stacked, but it's received very little attention. Do you feel like someone dropped the ball with marketing and promoting it?

Luke Rockhold: Yeah, you could say that. Considering the other events this week, I guess we're getting fairly decent coverage. It is what it is. I think a lot of fans still recognize that this is a great card and will tune in.

Stephie Daniels: What are your thoughts on working with a nutritionist? Do you use one or just go off your own experience?

Luke Rockhold: I do a lot of research on my own diets, and a lot of trial and error. I have a really clean diet and live a clean life. I try to eat all organic foods and mix in my greens with every meal. I try to keep my body fine tuned. I think with the Dolce Diet, sometimes they try to cut too much weight. They're eating red meat two days before the weigh-ins. I don't know about all that. I think they try to cut too much weight, and I think it hurts them, cardio-wise. I don't think you should cut more than 17 pounds the day before, otherwise it's going to be in the realm where it starts affecting cardio.

Stephie Daniels: Last question, and a little off topic, is there anything on TV that you watch regularly?

Luck Rockhold: Swamp People is absolutely my favorite show, and one of these days, I definitely have to go and catch an alligator.

You can follow Luke via his Twitter, @RockholdMMA

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