Luke Rockhold just suffered another brutal KO loss at the hands of Yoel Romero on Saturday night. Rockhold did well early in the fight, doing serious damage to Romero in the form of leg kicks which ultimately left Romero unable to stand at the end of the fight. However, it was Romero’s explosive speed and power that left the former champion unconscious in front of the Perth crowd in the third round.
This has left Rockhold in a very difficult position, especially being that he would have gained an interim title should he have achieved victory over Romero at UFC 221. It is certain then that Rockhold won’t be the middleweight title picture for the foreseeable future.
In the eyes of many, the next logical decision for Rockhold would be to try his hand at light heavyweight – especially being that his close friend and Teammate Daniel Cormier has just booked a fight against heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Rockhold has said himself that he the move is imminent, stating in an interview with submissionradio.com that “DC is moving up to heavyweight. He’s not coming back, so I’ll be up there soon”.
The move for Rockhold would certainly make for easier weight cuts which could seem him perform far better in the octagon, and would also create a multitude of fresh new matchups that the division could certainly use. A clash between Rockhold and #1 contender Alexander Gustafsson is just one example of the electric matchups that could be made.
Rockhold’s chin has been very suspect at this weight, and it is well known that fighters who are dehydrated are far more prone to knockouts that fighters who are fighting at a natural and healthy weight. Many other fighters have found great success in moving up in weight, Antony ‘Rumble’ Johnson – who was also a fighter training under coach Henry Hooft- is a good example.
Is moving up to light heavyweight the right move for Rockhold? Or is this simply a bump in the road, and should he stay at the weight in which he became champion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.