Former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold believes there is one key aspect to the fight game that separates him from UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Rockhold will challenge Weidman for the title in December at UFC 194. He has won four in a row since a loss to Vitor Belfort, including three straight submission wins.
“People wanna say this is a close fight. I don’t see it as (a close fight), though,” said Rockhold, during a recent appearance on Submission Radio. “I think Chris is gonna be tough for a round, maybe two. I’m gonna run away with this fight and I’m gonna take the belt home. Another belt coming back to AKA.
“Chris is just too slow, he’s too slow, he’s too slow. That’s all I gotta say. He’s slow, slow, and he’s slow.”
Along with his array of submission skills that caught the likes of Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping and Tim Boetsch, Rockhold (14-2) has also shown power in putting away Costas Philippou and Keith Jardine.
“I’m gonna hit him harder, and I’m gonna challenge him in ways he hasn’t (been challenged before),” Rockhold said. “I’m gonna put on a pace that he hasn’t felt before, and I’m not running from the man. Trust me. I’m gonna be hunting this guy down like I hunt every fighter down. You know, I hunt ‘em and then I bait them in. I hunt them and I bait them in. This is going to be no different, come 12th of December.”
His teammates at AKA, which include Cain Velasquez and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, have also prepared Rockhold for Weidman’s wrestling power.
“He’s not going to bring anything that I’m not used to. I’m a much higher level in the wrestling,” he said. “I know he’s good on the feet, I know he’s good on the ground, but same thing as with Machida on the ground. I have a different level of speed and athleticism and funk, and he’s not going to keep up with me. If he wants to take it to the ground, he’s not going to be able to keep up.”