UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold has only lost once since 2008, to Vitor Belfort in Brazil back in 2013, and the American Kickboxing Academy fighter is still bitter about it. After all, Rockhold not only lost via violent KO, he lost to Belfort while the former champ was using drugs he would likely not have been allowed to use were he and the UFC not avoiding real commission regulation by keeping his bouts in places like Brazil and Toronto while his Nevada license lapsed.
Since that time, Rockhold has put together two straight wins and is hoping for a title shot in the near future. In fact, Rockhold told reporters this weekend that he's on stand-by to fill in for Belfort should the banned PED-user not make it to his scheduled title bout against Chris Weidmain in December.
"I just don't think Vitor is going to make it to the fight so, I'm going to be ready," Rockhold said.
"I mean, if [Belfort is] clean and healthy, he'll probably get injured. His body is going to fall apart. It's too frail, you know what I mean? He's been doing this [expletive] for too long. And, if he realizes he can't compete off of it, he's probably going to try and slip something in and then he's going to get popped with a test. I just think some way or another, he's somehow going to fall out. So, I'm just going to be ready."
Clearly, Rockhold is still bitter and taking digs at Belfort, however the scenarios he offers do not seem entirely unlikely. After all, Belfort has already failed a drug test this year and, after inexplicably licensing him to fight again with no penalty for the past failed drug test (his second failed one in Nevada) the Nevada Athletic Commission promised to test Belfort lots, and randomly, from here on out.
If Belfort's testosterone is low at this point in his long career and relatively advanced age, as he claims, and he gives up banned testosterone and other drugs, his body may very well not be able to handle the grueling training he has to go through in order to challenge Weidman. Injuries are common in training camps and the 37 year-old is surely extra susceptible to them in this, the 18th year of his professional career, and while he is supposedly coming off of drugs he's relied on for years to increase his testosterone.
Do you think Belfort will make it to the Weidman fight? If he doesn't, who would you want to see replace him in the title bout?
Let us know in the comments section. And, for you die-hard "Phenom" fans, don't fret.
As a recent dorky and bizarre video of himself Belfort posted recently would indicate (below), even if the Brazilian has given up steroid use, he's keeping the roid-rage and would look to continue to be a force in the cage.
Here's the video, if you're into that (oiled up, snorting, shirtless fighter with a meanie face) type of thing.