Luke Rockhold Targeting Matchup with ‘Beatable’ Jon Jones Upon Move to 205 Pounds

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 6, 2019


Luke Rockhold is planning to move to 205 pounds for his next bout, and one of his main targets is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Jones returned from a USADA suspension to reclaim the 205-pound belt with a third-round TKO of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29. “Bones” has since said that he wants to fight three times in 2019. A title defense against Anthony Smith — another converted middleweight — is has been targeted for UFC 235.

“I thought he looked beatable,” Rockhold told TMZ Sports regarding Jones’ performance against Gustafsson. “He’s good on the feet, he’s tactical, Jon, he adjusts and he fights to his advantages. I like my advantages versus his. He’s great, he’s good everywhere, but I don’t think he’s the most technical on the feet. I don’t think he’s got the most power.

“I’m a different man at this weight, the power behind me. I’m moving up to get after him, so that’s what I’m here for.”

Rockhold, the former UFC middleweight titlist, has lost two of his last three in the Octagon — falling via knockout to both Yoel Romero and Michael Bisping. The American Kickboxing Academy product says he’s healthy and will be an improved athlete in a heavier weight class.

“Health-wise I’m finally back to health, it feels good to fight at my natural weight,” Rockhold said. “The last couple of years, I’ve been compromising myself to get down to [185] and my body just falls apart in training camp the last few weeks to get your body fat so low. I’ve never felt so bad at my last fight during the weight cut.

“So it feels right, I feel healthy, I feel comfortable, I’m excited to take down these light heavyweights. I just don’t see a lot there.”

Rockhold doesn’t necessarily expect to face Jones in his 205-pound debut.

“Look, I like it. I’ll come up, prove it,” Rockhold said. “I’ll pick off somebody, you’ll see my next fight. It will be a top fight and I’ll come prove myself.”

The 34-year-old California native had one final message for Jones.

“Just hold tight,” Rockhold said. “I’m coming, princess.”

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