Luke Rockhold always speaks his mind and can usually back up the consequences.
The middleweight sounded off on Vitor Belfort being selected as Chris Weidman’s next opponent and was not happy about the “The Phenom” receiving a title shot after being cleared to fight by the Nevada Athletic Commission following two positive drug tests.
Rockhold has always been critical of the testosterone-replacement therapy that Belfort received and has not made any bones about making his opinion after the procedure was banned.
“I just don’t think Vitor is going to make it to the fight (with Chris Weidman at UFC 181),” he said. “So I’m going to be ready.”
Once politically correct around the subject of testosterone-replacement therapy, of which Belfort was a poster child, Rockhold has grown more and more outspoken as the controversial treatment was banned and Belfort subsequently failed a drug test and was scratched from a title fight at UFC 173.
“If he’s clean and healthy, he’ll probably get injured,” Rockhold said. “His body will fall apart; it’s too frail. He’s been doing this s–t for too long. And if he realizes he can’t compete off of it, he’s probably going to try to slip something in and he’s going to get popped with a test.
Rockhold said that the NSAC was too lenient in allowing his rival to fight again.
“Yeah, (the NSAC was too easy on him). You get guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong, and these guys get erased from the record books and never come back to the sport. They’re gone; they’re forgotten. Then you got guys like Vitor Belfort that get slapped on the wrist and rewarded with a title shot. It’s a joke in my mind. He got caught early for steroids in Nevada, got popped after this whole stint in Brazil. I owned up, I took my loss, no excuses. But then he comes back, and the one time he tries to fight in the States, he fails the test. That right there, I’ve got no respect from him.”
Perhaps Rockhold is still upset about losing to Belfort in Brazil earlier this year while using the treatment but it is clear, he is not afraid of the man he is calling out.
“I’m not a fan of steroid use in MMA,” Rockhold said. “This isn’t a game; this is hand-to-hand combat. We’re not hitting balls; we’re not racing bikes. We could possibly kill each other, and for guys to be chemically enhanced on PEDs, it’s not right. So I just think that someway or another, he’s going to fall out. So I’m just going to be ready.”
For his part, Belfort did respond to Luke Rockhold, Mixed Martial Arts, Vitor Belfort