Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has talked about the possibility of moving up to the light heavyweight division before, but now considers the move “imminent.”
While the 33-year old was cutting weight in Perth, Australia, for his main event bout against Yoel Romero at UFC 221 for the interim middleweight title, he explained that a move to the 205-pound weight class could be just around the corner.
“(Cutting to middleweight) never gets any easier. I’m getting older. My bones are getting thicker and it gets harder to get down to this weight,” said Rockhold during the UFC 221 open workouts.
Light heavyweight champion and Rockhold’s teammate Daniel Cormier is moving to the heavyweight division to take on champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in July. Rockhold doesn’t believe Cormier will return to the 205-pound division and that opens a window of opportunity.
“I’m ahead of schedule (on weight cutting) this time around. I’ll be fine, but 205 is imminent. With DC moving up to heavyweight, he’s not coming back, so I’ll be up there soon,” said Rockhold. “I’ve mentioned that many times. Like I said, it’s imminent. I’ll be up there soon.”
Cormier hasn’t stated that he plans to stay at heavyweight following his UFC 226 champion vs. champion superfight with Miocic, but maybe Rockhold knows something others don’t.
In any case, even if Cormier does return to the 205-pound class following UFC 226, he has repeatedly stated that he plans to retire by the time he is 40, which occurs in March of 2019.