When it rains, it pours and sometimes you get caught in without an umbrella. Current Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is facing one of these moments. So take a moment and stop believing what you are reading everywhere else and open your eyes as you read the words that follow in this exclusive interview with Fight Hub TV.
We like and admire Rockhold. His ethic, talent, and attitude have helped him get to the top and defend his Strikeforce middleweight title. Many write him off as nothing serious since his gloves do not say “UFC” on them. Do not be fooled by the AKA fighter’s calm demeanor – he is a serious threat and welcomes any challenge that stand in front of him, especially Lorenz Larkin.
Originally scheduled to meet at a Strikeforce card on November 3rd, the bout was scratched and the card ultimately cancelled after Rockhold was forced to withdraw due to injury on his wrist. In the past weeks a January 12, 2013 Strikeforce card was announced as it touted three championship bouts on the card, one being Luke Rockhold vs. Lorenz Larkin for the middleweight crown.
Fans everywhere were looking like this could be a beautiful send off for the San Jose promotion, boasting three title fights in addition to Daniel Cormier fighting on the bill. As we were all excited and looked forward to the fighters training for it, one man did not know about this fight until reading about it online – Luke Rockhold.
“I never saw a bout agreement, nothing came over to me and I did not sign anything for that fight in January*… I think Strikeforce got a little excited over there and starting promoting something that was never even signed on,” said Rockhold this afternoon over the phone to us.
*[Ed. note: Luke Rockhold would like to clarify that the confusion regarding the bout was based on a mis-communication with his management]
“I don’t know what is going on over there (at Strikeforce)… I have not spoken to Scott Coker or anyone else about this but I found it odd to hear about a fight I am supposed to be defending my belt in without signing a contract for it.”
As Rockhold stands his ground on never signing, Larkin is firing on Twitter his own campaign, stating that the champion is ducking him – using the injury as an excuse and biding his time for a UFC contract, going over to the big show with his title belt in hand.
“Larkin is talking out of his ass! This guy is online and sputtering at the mouth, looking like an idiot talking about me ducking him?! I want to fight! I have been away for too long and want to fight, I do not care who they put in front of me, and I do not care if it is in Strikeforce or the UFC.”
Knowing that the marquee lights Dana White boasts could lure a fighter to get over quick, Rockhold firmly attested again he was not holding for a free ride over. “Would fights in the UFC be great right now? Of course! But right now, I am not worried about that, I am focused on what I have right now – an injured wrist that needs to heal properly so I can train.”
“I tried to train in my cast and I could feel it moving and knew it would not work; when I got the cast removed and just doing things like driving my car it was hurting. So why am I going to train for a fight, defending my title, one-handed? As soon as I heard this online about January, I knew I would not be ready for it and tried calling Zuffa and Strikeforce to notify them and you have seen what happens online – people believe the rumors they want but that is all they are – Rumors. I am telling you why I am not fighting in January.”
When we last spoke, Rockhold stated that he would fight whomever the brass put in front of him but also said he did not feel Larking was the opponent he thought deserved the title shot – he thought Jacare made the most sense. Today, he still did not care who he fought but now is motivated to meet “The Monsoon” as soon as he can.
“I hope Larkin wins his next fight so I can fight him, beat the [expletive] out of him, shut his [expletive] mouth and teach him respect. I am not scared of anyone, I do not duck anyone, especially someone like him… and another thing, it is not like I am sitting here and just relaxing. I did PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy about a month ago, very painful but well worth it to try to make my body better and recover faster.”
We look forward to seeing Rockhold back in action soon and hope it is sooner than late. According to the champion he says, “I should be able to get back into training in about one to two months in everything goes accordingly.”
Luke wanted to wish all the readers a Merry Christmas and thanked us for the time to clear the air. Follow him on Twitter @LukeRockhold