The Luke Rockhold-Chris Weidman rivalry has taken form in more ways than one. Let’s just thank Lady Luck that Rockhold decided to put his retirement on hold a few days ago. With thirteen years of fighting under his belt, he still has more to prove. At least, that’s what Chris Weidman wants to see to give him another fight. Does that mean we’ll see these two fight again? Of course not, but we might as well.
On one side, Rockhold is looking to add another win over the man he dethroned for the UFC middleweight crown back at UFC 194 back in 2015. When the two were expected to hook up again at UFC 199, Weidman suffered an injury and instead of having a rematch together, Rockhold had one with Michael “The Count” Bisping and lost his title to him in a rematch of their own instead back in June of 2016, splitting the series between them.
But if Rockhold wants to earn the privilege of facing a battle-tested man since their last fight together, he may have to reacquaint himself with fighting anyone just to get jumpstarted again as time winds down for the two 36-year olds. If Rockhold doesn’t compete, how will he be able to compete against his arch-rival? It looks like Weidman wants to see Rockhold shake the ring rust off in the dojo…and in the Octagon.
Ironically, Weidman dismissed Rockhold, saying that he needs to put in more time and work to earn a rematch with the man he defeated for the UFC middleweight championship. Having multiple setbacks after a red-hot 13-0 start in his MMA career, Weidman has always put in the time to train and fight, win or lose. Having a rusty Rockhold would be considered a liability for a rivalry that’s considered one of the most exciting, despite only fighting once five years ago.
Since then, the two rivals have faced setbacks and adversity, where Rockhold sustained a shoulder and labrum injury. As for Weidman, he sports a putrid 2-5 record in over the last half-decade, bumping that up with a much-needed win over Omari Ahkmedov at UFC Vegas 6 on August 8th. With Weidman victorious and Rockhold returning, the best way to settle the bad blood is to have them inside the Octagon for everyone to see.
Knowing that Rockhold beat him in December of 2015, The Long Island wrestling standout seems more convinced that the kickboxer from Santa Cruz, California is more entitled to face him than he is ready to. Only time will tell if, and (hopefully) when these two will square off again.