Luke Rockhold is new No. 1 middleweight contender and better than we thought

April 18, 2015

After, Rockhold said he thought Machida would be faster — a passive-aggressive dig at Machida, intentional or not. However, this writer has to admit he feels the same way.

Perhaps Machida is finally getting a bit old. The all-time great looked amazing against middleweight champion Chris Weidman, but took a lot of damage in that fight.

He's closer to 40 than 30 at this point, and has been at the fight game his whole life. Speed and reflexes are the first things to go.

In any case, what we know for sure is that Rockhold is deserving of being the man to challenge the winner of UFC 187's middleweight title bout between Weidman and Vitor Belfort. If Weidman wins that fight, he has an intriguing new challenge waiting in the wings.

If Belfort pulls off the upset, he'll have a challenger hungry for revenge after "The Phenom" knocked him out two years ago. That was the last time Rockhold lost.

From the looks of him Saturday night, it may be a lot harder for Belfort or anyone else to beat Rockhold these days.