LAS VEGAS — Luke Rockhold commanded the stage as if his name were listed first and at the top of the UFC 194 fight card, a combination of confidence and adrenaline flowing after finishing his open workout.
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Shirtless, sweaty and short of breath from the dizzying array of kicks display, Rockhold paced around the stage Thursday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena answering a handful of questions from assembled media about Saturday’s fight against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
“He can’t prepare from what I’m going to bring him,” Rockhold said. “I’m going to bring flexibility, length, power, athleticism. The movement is not going to be like anything he’s faced.”
Asked if middleweight champion Chris Weidman is Rockhold’s toughest opponent to date. Rockhold referenced their most recent common opponent, Lyoto Machida.
“All I know is his toughest opponent to date was one of my easiest,” Rockhold said.
Weidman (13-0, 9-0 UFC) went the distance with Machida at UFC 175 in July 2014, winning a unanimous decision. Rockhold (14-2, 4-1) submitted Machida in the second round last April.
Weidman did his open workout before Rockhold and wrapped up his showing with a takedown of his trainer Ray Longo. Weidman said his focus is on the task at hand and nothing else.
“First and foremost is right now, Luke,” Weidman said. “I gotta beat the [expletive] out of this guy.”
Rockhold ended his Q&A by taking a shot at Weidman’s teammates at Serra-Longo.
“He trains with a bunch of jabronis,” Rockhold said. “I train with champions.”