‘There’s Nobody Better Than Me on Top’ – Luke Rockhold Not Afraid to Take On Israel Adesanya

Published 05/29/2021, 12:41 AM EDT
NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 18: Luke Rockhold celebrates defeating Lyoto Machida of Brazil by tap out in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Luke Rockhold has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in his UFC career. He won the UFC middleweight championship after beating Chris Weidman and added it to his Strikeforce middleweight championship. However, it all went downhill from there really soon.

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Rockhold, who lost three of his next four fights, is now on a two-fight losing streak. He lost his belt to Michael Bisping in his very next fight in a match that sparked one of the biggest rivalries in UFC history. He won his next fight against David Branch, but lost to Yoel Romero in his next fight, losing the chance to win the interim middleweight belt.

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Rockhold tried his luck out at light heavyweight and didn’t fare any better after losing to Jan Blachowicz via knockout again. However, after his failed light heavyweight experiment in 2019, he is eyeing a comeback at middleweight.

He spoke to ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto in an interview and talked about his chances at middleweight. Okamoto talked about the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s loss to Jan Blachowicz, and Rockhold showed a lot of confidence.

I know what Israel is capable of, I’ve been studying Israel for a long time, and I appreciate his style, but I think he’s beatable in so many ways,” Rockhold said.

Luke Rockhold believes he can beat Israel Adesanya if he gets on top of him

He also talked about his strategy to beat Israel, saying that he could beat him from the outside. “I don’t think many guys can fight him from the outside like I can. If I just stay relaxed and stay on the outside, then yeah, it’s a game that I can play,” he added.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Jan Blachowicz of Poland punches Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Rockhold, known for his stellar ground game, said he’d use it against Adesanya. “And if we go into the takedowns, I can do a lot better than Jan did. There’s nobody better than me on top. If I get on top of somebody, I don’t care who it is. It’s going to be a short night. For anybody,” he concluded.

Do you think Luke Rockhold can mount a charge towards the title? Do you think he can beat Israel Adesanya?

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Aniket Awasthi

262 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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