Luke Rockhold won't move to light heavyweight until UFC offers 'something sexy'


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is putting his plans to move up to the light heavyweight division on hold. Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been teasing a change in weight class for some time, but the scenario became real following his knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 221 in February. The UFC was discussing a matchup against Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) at UFC 227 this month, but it failed to materialize due to Rockhold's gruesome leg injury. Now, Rockhold appears on the cusp of being booked against Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in a 185-pound bout at November's UFC 230 event in New York. He didn't rule out the possibility of moving up after that, but with friend and American Kickboxing Academy teammate Daniel Cormier holding the title at light heavyweight, the situation becomes complicated.

RelatedLuke Rockhold: Without right contract, no deal signed to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 230 If Rockhold, 33, does goes up, though, he said the UFC brass must make it worth his while. “I like the light heavyweight division – I think it's for the taking,” Rockhold told MMAjunkie. “‘DC,' the complication with him – he's tossing and turning. I just want the thing to really solidify itself and iron it out. I want a matchup – I want a sexy matchup, and I want to get up there and I want to do some damage, and I want it to mean something. I don't want to have to fight the best guy in the division in Alexander Gustafsson and have to backtrack if ‘DC' doesn't fight and I have to fight someone else lower – what's the (expletive) point? “I want it to mean something, and for me, everything is open right now. I don't need to rush anything. Everything is open right now. I don't need to rush anything. This is good. They've got to give me something sexy and entice me with something good. Nothing's official.” Rockhold made it clear he doesn't feel any urgency to step back in the octagon. He said he has many ventures outside the cage which keep him financially stable, and although his passion for the sport is still strong, Rockhold said he's aware of his worth. “I'm nowhere near done fighting,” Rockhold said. “But it's got to make sense. I'm not going to take off time and lose money to go fight. I love what I do, and I know I have a lot more to give in this sport. But these people need to get their contracts straight. They need to get their priorities straight with what they want and where they want to go. I know what I want. Everything is good. I'm not going to (expletive) lose money fighting. I'm doing very well outside the cage.”

RelatedLuke Rockhold: Brock Lesnar represents 'everything that's wrong' with MMA Currently, Rockhold said he's waiting to finalize the deal to rematch Weidman, who he beat at UFC 194 in December 2015. Whether it's his final fight at middleweight o…

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