Luke Rockhold had a full menu of things to beat Tim Boetsch with. He chose a kimura.
The former Strikeforce champion had Boetsch in massive trouble on the ground very early, locking up a reverse triangle. Rockhold had several openings from there, but latched onto the arm and tapped Boetsch out with a kimura at 2:08 of the very first round Saturday night at UFC 172 at Baltimore Arena. It was the fourth straight submission victory of the night.
Afterward, Rockhold called out Vitor Belfort, who he lost to by knockout last year in Brazil.
"I want to get a title shot, but I want to earn it," Rockhold said. "I donât want anything given to me and I think the best way to do that is through Vitor Belfort."
Rockhold (12-2) has now won two straight in the UFC. The 29-year-old was coming off another first-round finish, a liver kick knockout, against Costa Philippou in January. He has established himself clearly as one the elite fighters in the 185-pound division.
Rockhold said this week that he had an idea of what he would say if he won and he used the time to call out Belfort once again. Earlier in the week, Rockhold told FOX Sports that Belfort lived a "shady life" and "karma" would come back to him, referring to his TRT use.
Boetsch (17-7) was supposed to give Rockhold trouble if things went to the ground, but that absolutely did not happen. The durable veteran was outclassed in every aspect. With three losses in his last four fights and a controversial win over C.B. Dolloway as the only victory, it’s unclear where Boetsch goes from here.