This past Saturday's UFC 172 card saw some great fights and amazing finishes. One of those finishes was the marvelous inverted triangle kimura Luke Rockhold beat Tim Boetsch with. Boetsch has always been known for his durability, so despite his Number 13 ranking, it's an impressive feat to finish him in such expedient fashion.
Immediately following the event, media, teammates and fans en masse have been calling for Luke to be included in title shot discussion. While the idea is tempting, he still feels he needs to solidify his standing with one or two more fights. In a time when so many fighters are ready to rush into championship bouts too soon, it's refreshing to see one making the journey at a very measured pace.
Bloody Elbow recently caught up with Rockhold who discussed his performance at UFC 173, the need to prove himself and why he still wants to fight Michael Bisping, despite the distance in their rankings. Here's what he had to say:
I knew I needed to perform, and I felt good with the performance I gave. I'm so happy things went the way they did. There's two things I've always wanted to do in MMA, and I managed to pull them both off over my last couple fights. Getting a liver kick stoppage and the reverse triangle is highlight reel stuff. It feels pretty amazing to score finishes by executing those moves correctly.
Even though I performed well in my last two fights, I don't feel that I've beaten the top contenders. Obviously I wouldn't turn down a title shot, but honestly, I would like to beat up somebody else up to secure my standing first. I want to make sure there's no question in anyone's mind that I deserve that shot at the belt.
1 or 2 More
I don't want to take too much time off, I just want a short break. I want to give my body a chance to refresh and heal, and mentally, I need a little break outside the gym. A little travel time or a surfing trip would do nicely. I'm not a guy that can be locked down in the gym 24/7. I need little breaks in between, and I think it makes me a better fighter. I'd like another fight this fall, maybe September would be nice, and if it happens then, I wouldn't mind being on one of the year end cards, as well.
I'm not opposed to fighting Bisping at all. I think it would be a fun fight for me. People always talk about steps back or whatever, but the Top 10 is a dangerous row of guys, and right now, the guys ahead of me are tied up with the exception of Jacare, and I've already beaten him.
I'd like to mount some more of those Top 10 heads on my wall to solidify my standing. Step back or not, Bisping is a mouth I've been wanting to shut for a long time. It's a really good way to build my name up and make some fans, and getting a paycheck for kicking his ass is a big lure for me.
You can follow Luke via his Twitter account, @LukeRockhold