Luke Rockhold is a fighter I just love to hate. For no good reason. Maybe because he’s too good looking. But Luke Rockhold is legit.
Luke Rockhold just signed a new 8 fight deal with the UFC. According to Fight Matrix rankings as of 20 November 2014, he is currently 6 best in the world right behind Ronalda Jacare Souza and Anderson Silva. But why is it that for some reason I don’t think that Luke deserves to be there?
He’s one of those fighters that I just love to hate. And for no good reason. I mean for goodness sake, he was the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion! He’s a good fighter! But I just love to hate him. Like Jon Jones. Not sure why I don’t like Jon Jones either. Possibly one of the best Light Heavyweight fighters in MMA history and possibly the best Light Heavyweight Champion in UFC history. Him and Luke Rockhold. Love to hate them, don’t know why.
MMA media continuously tells me that Luke Rockhold is too good looking for MMA. And I’m starting to think, or convince myself, the reason why I don’t like him is because I’m jealous of his devilish good looks. Perhaps it’s because he suffers from the Brad Pitt syndrome. Not the syndrome where he can’t recognize faces. The syndrome where he was too good looking for people to accept that he was actually a really good actor. Even for this post I was thinking of putting up a Luke Rockhold weigh-in picture. But decided to replace it with a picture of him getting knocked out.
Despite fans like me, Luke Rockhold has put in his time, his work, and his sacrifices to be a top MMA fighter. He is able to set aside the benefits of being pretty and even continuously puts his physical appearance and well-being to the test in the cage. That’s worth something. Luke Rockhold is legit. Luke Rockhold deserves to be in the top 10 middleweight ranking. The UFC middleweight division is getting interesting and it’s great Luke Rockhold has his new deal ’cause I want to see him get beat.
Luke Rockhold has the gift of athletic DNA. His brother Matt is a pro-surfer. His other brother Steve is a pro-basketball player in Europe. Luke started with Judo and moved to wrestling. He was a wrestler throughout high school but wasn’t anything outstanding like Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, Phil Davis, Josh Koscheck, Daniel Cormier, Johny Hendricks, Yoel Romero…
Almost as if he got bored of being surfing, he moved to wrestling. He got bored of wrestling and moved to BJJ. He got bored of BJJ and moved to MMA. Although he still surfs…I mean how can you not hate / be jealous of this guy. He is good at whatever sport he touches!
In September 2011, he fought Ronaldo Jacare Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship. He won in a 5 round unanimous decision. I know I know. It was a sad day for all of us. On any given day, with Luke Rockhold at his best and Jacare breaking his arm in the middle of the fight…again, Jacare would win a grappling match. But in the cage, Luke got the better of him. Anything can happen under those Saturday night lights.
2 years before that, Luke Rockhold beat grappling wizard Jesse Taylor. Jesse Taylor was arguably in his prime, just finishing Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter and Luke Rockhold submitted him in the very first round.
How you ask? Well turns out Luke Rockhold is a bit of a grappling genius himself. He is a BJJ black belt under Dave Camarillo’s Guerilla Jiu Jitsu. He won gold in the blue belt and purple belt no-gi divisions at the 2007 mundials. He also has some outstanding kickboxing with really tricky foot placement which was highlighted by Dan Hardy in the pre-fight hype series leading up to Rockhold vs Bisping. Basically Rockhold will give away foot placement to his opponent so as to be able to land the perfect counter strike.
With awesome athletic DNA, with his Guerilla Jiu Jitsu, and with tricky kick boxing, Luke Rockhold beat grappling hero Ronald Jacare Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight belt. Ever since winning the belt and moving to UFC with the Strikeforce acquisition, Luke Rockhold has beat some legit middleweight people. I’ve always found the middleweight division a bit boring and lacking of talent, but whatever middleweight star there is, Luke Rockhold has beat. Tim Kennedy, Costas Philippou, Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping. The only one that alludes him is Vitor Belfot.
But now that Luke Rockhold has inked a new contract with the UFC, there are just enough fights to see him try and make his way to the top of the division. Before he gets to Weidman’s belt, I still want to see him fight some legit middleweight fighters like Gegard Mousasi, Yoel Romero, and CB Dollaway. Move his way up the UFC ladder and lets have some exciting fights like Jacare II and perhaps a Jacare III. Lets see him against Lyoto Machida even, one of the best strikers and grapplers in UFC history. Heck, I’d even be interested in seeing Luke Rockhold against Nate Marquardt or the new Eddie Gordon.
As much as I love to hate him, Luke Rockhold is legit. He is a legit grappler, a legit striker, and most of all a legit MMA fighter. And perhaps there’s something to be respected there. A pretty boy gambling his looks away with fists to the face in a metal wire cage. I am excited to see him in the ring, especially as the middleweight division is getting interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see him tested against some top middleweight talent. It’s just that I want to see him fight and lose! Muahahaha!