Having dispatched many of the division's challengers over the past two years, Luke Rockhold is patiently awaiting a title shot in the middleweight division.
Most recently, Rockhold finished former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida via second round submission, and he is now content with sitting on the sidelines to challenge the victor in the UFC 187 co-main event.
When asked about whom he would rather face, Rockhold gave rational reasons for both fighters. While he was more interested in challenging the current champion Chris Weidman, he is also motivated by revenge in the Belfort bout.
"With Vitor, you got bad blood," Rockhold told Submission Radio. "Then you got that genuine rivalry, and you got me coming for revenge. I love it either way. I'm looking to go out there and prove myself as the best fighter in the world. I think either way I accomplish that. [If] Weidman goes out there and beats Vitor, makes it look easy, I think we all know that story. I come out there and beat Weidman. On top of that, that proves that I'm the best in the world, I'm the better guy, I got caught by a lucky kick, I go out there and get that revenge against Vitor and there'd be nothing sweeter. Nothing sweeter."
Rockhold's UFC debut was against the former light-heavyweight champion, but it did not end in Rockhold's favour, as he received a spinning back kick from the Brazilian that ended the fight unceremoniously in the opening round. While Rockhold has already moved on from that loss, he refuses to accept Belfort's claim at being a "clean" fighter and has no respect for him because of it.
"Vitor is a joke. I'll say it and I'll say it again. The guy hasn't fought clean once in his whole life. I think his whole career is a joke. But I'd be more than willing to go out there and finish that one too. That's my opinion."
Transcription taken from Submission Radio.