UFC Fight Night notebook: Rockhold ‘skeptical’ Belfort will pass drug test
It came down this week that Vitor Belfort is going to be given random drug tests for the duration of his MMA career. Luke Rockhold figures that might be good news for him.
Rockhold said in the UFC Fight Club Q&A on Friday here at SAP Center that he’ll be ready to go to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 181 on Dec. 6 if Belfort fails a drug test. Belfort was licensed by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on Wednesday and his title shot with Weidman was booked shortly after.
"My guess is something happens along the way," Rockhold said. "Let’s leave it at that. I’ll be ready to go in December if anything."
Rockhold is ranked No. 5 among UFC middleweight contenders, but is in an odd position. He lost to Belfort last year by knockout, but has already beaten fellow contenders Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Tim Kennedy. Rockhold really wants a rematch with Belfort or a title shot against Weidman, but he might have to settle for the winner of the fight between Souza and Gegard Mousasi in September. Rockhold also floated the possibility of fighting the winner of the September bout between Kennedy and Yoel Romero.
My guess is something happens along the way. Let’s leave it at that. I’ll be ready to go in December if anything.
-Luke Rockhold on Vitor Belfort
"I want a good fight and I don’t want to take another step backwards," Rockhold said.
Ideally, though, Rockhold would want a title shot. The NAC ruled as part of Belfort’s licensing that the Brazilian, who recently came off testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) when it was banned, would be randomly drug tested the rest of his career. A fan asked Rockhold if he thought Belfort would pass his first test.
"I’m skeptical," Rockhold said.
Are you not entertained?
Daron Cruickshank obviously wants to one day hold the UFC lightweight title. But he also knows where his bread is buttered. He’s not going to change his exciting kickboxing style to something boring just because it could potentially making him a more effective fighter.
"When I first started this career, I told myself I wanted to be a successful fighter and I asked myself, what is a successful fighter?" Cruickshank told FOX Sports. "It’s not necessarily the champ. It’s the guy that the fans want to see. If you’re exciting, and obviously you don’t lose every fight, you will always have a job in the UFC."
"The Detroit Superstar" meets Jorge Masvidal on Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown (FOX prelims, 6 p.m.) in a bout many point to as a potential Fight of the Night. Cruickshank isn’t banking on a bonus, because he has a ridiculous three head kick knockouts in his UFC career and has not won a bonus once.
"I’ve shot for the bonus every single time and I’ve never gotten it," Cruickshank said. "Mentally, I’m just going out there to fight. If I knock him out in some crazy way, I don’t expect to get a bonus, because it’s never happened before."
Clay Guida predicted Conor McGregor’s demise Thursday during a media session. He thinks the much-hyped Irishman will hit a wall once he faces someone with the ability to take him down. "When he gets in there with a real wrestler, I think that might be the last of Conor McGregor," Guida said. … The running joke about Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is that he pulls out of more fights than he competes in. Lil’ Nog doesn’t find it too funny. "I have an exam to prove it," Nogueira said of his injuries. "I have everything. I have the doctors, the commissions see my injuries."