Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) today told MMAjunkie he hasn’t signed a contract to fight Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden in New York – and unless he sees “the right contract,” he doesn’t seem too motivated to take the fight, despite all it’s got going for it.
“No pen to paper,” Rockhold said at an event with sponsor American Ethanol in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Bellator 204 is taking place. “Of course it’s intriguing. Madison Square Garden vs. Weidman – (I’m) No. 2, he’s No. 3 (in the official UFC rankings). It’s a pretty clear-cut fight. You go out there and do the job at Madison Square … it’s fun, it’s sexy.
“You’ve got to show me the right contract. I don’t need to do anything. Business is good. We’re doing business everywhere. I’ve got a lot of things going on. When you show me the right contract, I’ll sign the right contract.”
UFC 230 takes place Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. News of the Rockhold-Weidman fight first was reported a little more than three weeks ago, but UFC officials never made a formal announcement of the booking.
Rockhold said his business dealings outside the octagon are good enough that he doesn’t have to take a fight for financial reasons. And he also said his cuts to 185 pounds typically are rough enough that he needs the entirety of a full fight camp to focus on training and making weight, meaning his other ventures get put on hold.
Absent the right contract, he said he loses money compared to not fighting.
“I love fighting,” he said. “I’m nowhere near done fighting. But it’s got to make sense. I’m not going to take off time and lose money to go fight. I love what I do and I know I have a lot more to give in this sport. But these people need to get their contracts straight. They need to get their priorities straight with what they want and where they want to go. I know what I want. Everything is good. I’m not going to (expletive) lose money fighting. I’m doing very well outside the cage.”
At UFC 194 in December 2015, Rockhold stopped Weidman with a fourth-round TKO to win the middleweight title. He only held the belt for six months, then lost it in his first title defense when he was upset by Michael Bisping with a first-round knockout. After 15 months away, Rockhold returned and stopped David Branch with a second-round TKO in the UFC Fight Night 116 main event nearly a year ago. But at UFC 221 earlier this year, with a chance to win the interim middleweight title, he was knocked out by Yoel Romero in the third round. (Romero could not win the interim belt because he missed weight.)
But these days, going to light heavyweight sounds a lot more appealing to Rockhold because he wouldn’t have the same drastic cut. He said he walks around often around 220 pounds. But his good friend and longtime training partner and teammate, Daniel Cormier, still is the light heavyweight champion. And Rockhold said going up to 205 would seem more appealing if Cormier was no longer champion. Cormier plans to retire around March 2019; he also holds the heavyweight title.
It also isn’t helping Rockhold’s demeanor that the plan is for Brock Lesnar to come off a USADA suspension and his latest WWE stint to get a title shot against Cormier at heavyweight, or that Jon Jones may return once his own USADA issues are settled and walk right back into a title shot, too.
“This sport is starting to get a little jokey,” Weidman said. “I’m just sick of watching Brock, watching Jon – when you get down to real business, these guys should be suspended for a long time. People are learning how to cheat the system. USADA is owned by the UFC. I like fighting clean. I’ve always fought clean, and I want to fight clean people. I want to fight fair. I want a fair playing field.
“USADA’s got to step their game up and be what they were in the beginning. In the beginning, it seemed like they were doing their job. Now it seems like they’re owned. It’s sad to see, but hopefully it can correct itself and we can get on the right path. I’m sick of it all, and I love it all at the same time.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Luke Rockhold: Without right contract, no deal signed to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 230