Rockhold, a former UFC middleweight champion, is on the verge of making a move up to light heavyweight on July 6 against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. But if Rockhold had it his way, he’d be making his 205-pound debut opposite Smith instead.
Rockhold told TMZ that fighting Smith, coming off a failed title bid vs. champ Jon Jones last month, was his first option. Smith, however, is fighting June 1 at at UFC on ESPN+ 10 in Stockholm, where he’ll headline against fellow former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
On Friday during the UFC’s seasonal news conference in Atlanta, Smith had some harsh words for Rockhold, who was critical of “Lionheart’s” performance in a decision loss to Jones. Because of that, Smith promised to “drill a hole” through “(expletive) piece of (expletive)” Rockhold’s face after his fight with Gustafsson.
“He’s not going to be drilling nothing,” Rockhold said with a laugh. “I will own that kid from start to finish anywhere he wants to go. He’s not really on my radar. I’m going to go do my thing, and I’ll enjoy watching him get beat up in Stockholm.”
Smith, who’s normally a mild-mannered guy, clearly got worked up at the mere mention of Rockhold’s name. Rockhold chalks that up to him speaking the truth about Smith’s fighting ability.
“I mean, some people just can’t take the truth,” Rockhold said. “That’s the problem: I always tell it. He can keep talking, keep running his mouth, but he had his opportunity. He could’ve manned up instead of being a (expletive) and being the errand boy for the UFC. There’s balls to take fights, and there’s balls to not take fights. I saw his interview, and he obviously didn’t want to take this fight (vs. Gustafsson). He wanted to take some time off. Could’ve done that, could’ve stuck to your word. Because I would’ve been right here.”
Rockhold was willing to make his 205-pound debut against an opponent he perceives to be an easy fight.
“I don’t think much of Anthony Smith,” Rockhold said. “I don’t think he’s very tough, technical, talented. He ain’t got what it takes. … (A fight with him) would be an embarrassment to Anthony Smith.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Luke Rockhold laughs off Anthony Smith threat: 'He's not going to be drilling nothing'