Luke Rockhold on his Chris Weidman rematch and a move up to light heavyweight

Exclusive: UFC middleweight champion tells The Independent what motivates him

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The Independent Online

The UFC was back in London last weekend as Michael Bisping claimed a hard-fought victory over Anderson Silva. 

Putting his feet up for once in the audience was middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

The Independent caught up with him while he was in the UK to talk about what motivates him, what’s in the future, and how he sees his upcoming rematch with Chris Weidman.

Rematch with Weidman

After claiming the middleweight title and defeating the then-champion back at UFC 19, the pair will meet again at UFC 199. Rockhold well and truly believes he has Weidman's number.

"This time, it's going to be even clearer. With a full camp with no infections, no illness I'm going to finish him quicker," Rockhold said confidently.

"Chris has nothing for me. He's going down again either by knockout or TKO. I don't mind which one, I'll go in there and see what happens but it'll be an even easier night for me."

On visiting London

Rockhold, who was in London as a guest fighter for this weekend's UFC Fight Night 84 London, saw Bisping edge past the legendary Silva in the night's main event. For once, he got to sit back and put his feet up as he watched two potential contenders for his middleweight title do battle.

"This isn't the first time I've been over to London but it is the first time I've been able to walk around the city and see some of the history and sights," he said. "It's even better because I get to watch the fights on Saturday and feel the vibe of the O2 Arena."

Being part of the AKA gym

Rockhold trains at American Kickboxing Academy under the tutelage of Javier Mendes and alongside the likes of Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. Cormier has a rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 197 where they will collide for the UFC light heavyweight title and Rockhold plans to help his teammate prepare for the fight.

"I am hoping to help out when I get home and back on the programme," said Rockhold. "I'll give him what knowledge I can and steer him in the right direction. So I'll come back hopefully play some kind of role in trying to help him of course."

"I'm a longer guy so I will give him a look, give him a little Jon Jones. I'll try to kick him in the knees and throw some eyes pokes," Rockhold joked.

"I look forward to going back, we always help each other."

What now for the middleweight champion?

Speaking about his own future aspirations, Rockhold then went on to reveal that he wouldn't rule out a move up to light heavyweight should his friend and teammate Daniel Cormier leave the division.

"My goal is to keep going out there and defending my belt and stacking up pay cheques to set myself up for the future," said Rockhold.

"I've got a long way to go before I'm happy with my financial situation you know. It can always be better and you only live once and I want to live the dream and some more."

"The more I stack the more things I can buy. The more toys, the more houses and everything. That's the motivation but I'm also a competitive person, I need goals and I need that competition and to drive for something."

"I have a few guys left for me here and then we will see. I'll handle the division here and then I'm always free to move up. I don't think Cormier is going to be around forever and I'm a lot younger so there's potential if he was to step down and step out then I would definitely move up and challenge."

Luke Rockhold was speaking behind the scenes at the EA SPORTS UFC 2 ‘Finish the Fight’ challenge event. Out on the 17th March on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, pre-order now and find out more about the launch of EA SPORTS UFC 2  at