Luke Rockhold has yet to make his light heavyweight debut, but the former UFC middleweight champion is already eyeing a fight with reigning 205-pound king Jon Jones, who will compete on the same card as Rockhold at UFC 239.
Rockhold, who will look to spring back into the winners column after his crushing knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221, believes a win over top-seven ranked light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz will catapult him into title contention and secure a championship bout with ‘Bones.’
“Thiago Santos just got a world title fight after beating Jan Blachowicz, so I figure if I go out there and put a performance on him, what’s to deny me?” Rockhold said on a recent episode of Submission Radio (transcript via MMA Weekly). “I mean, what else is there? These guys are scouring around, not taking fights. So I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna perform and do my job, and then I’m gonna let the chips fall where they may.”
As someone who is familiar with Jones’ unorthodox style, having trained for years with nemesis Daniel Cormier at American Kickboxing Academy, Rockhold believes he has what it takes to hand the pound-for-pound great his first legitimate loss in the cage.
“I’d jump on (a fight with Jones) in a heartbeat,” he said. “I’ve been training as Jon Jones for (teammate Daniel Cormier) for so many years and I know his style, and like what we have here. So I’m gonna go focus on what I’m doing here this summer and if everything works out, me and Jon will be dancing later this year or 2020.”
Before there’s any talk of a title fight versus Jones, though, Rockhold must first get Blachowicz, who he meets at the upcoming UFC 239 PPV on July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event, Jones will defend his light heavyweight strap against top-three contender Thiago Santos.