April 18th is a date all MMA fans should mark on their calendars, as one of the most intriguing middleweight match-ups will be taking place at the UFC On FOX 15 show. Luke Rockhold vs Lyoto Machida is the headlining bout, and will no doubt provide the combination of action and technique that all of us crave.
Recently, Bloody Elbow caught up with Rockhold, who gave his thoughts on the current PED crisis in the UFC, as well as fielding a series of personal questions and queries revolving around his recent stint on Millionaire Matchmaker. Here’s what he had to say:
Thoughts on PED issues currently plaguing MMA
It’s funny that these guys are finally getting caught, because now they’re doing these random, pre-fight drug tests, which they’ve never done. Guys in the past have been able to get by the tests because they know how to cycle off. Now, with these tests coming 3-4 weeks prior to the fights, all these guys are getting caught. I’m not saying Anderson was guilty all along, but a lot of these guys are getting caught for that reason.
You’ve got to wonder because you hear rumors about camps, trainers…about a lot of guys. I’ve heard a lot. Multiple substances were in his system, I mean, come on. There’s something in the water at that camp. Hell, there’s something in the water at a lot of camps. Now we’ve had Hector Lombard finally getting caught, and you really have to wonder just how far down the rabbit hole goes. The positive we can take away from this, is that this testing is serving a purpose and helping the sport move in the right direction by shining that bright light on the offenders. I’m sick of all the cheaters and I know I’m not the only one.
Can Anderson turn this around?
If Vitor can turn it around, anybody can [laughs]. It’s a sad day for MMA when a legend like Anderson gets popped for steroids. That is the sad truth about our sport, and of all the sports, I think this one should be the most regulated. It’s sad to see these guys just get a slap on the wrist while guys that test positive for marijuana get slammed to the wall.
I don’t think it’s a performance enhancer by any means. I don’t smoke it anymore, but I used to smoke weed when I was in high school, and I understand where Diaz is coming from. He has a medical marijuana card. It’s like he’s licensed to smoke. I barely see how he should be punished for that. I understand that it’s on the banned substance list in our sport, but it shouldn’t be. It’s a joke that Nick will likely suffer a heavier consequence than Anderson will, simply because Anderson’s test was off by a few days, making it “out of competition.” How does a guy get popped, it’s made public, yet likely he won’t receive any real penalty? I don’t care if you have a fight scheduled or not, if you get popped for steroids, you should be punished.
I’m aware that it’s very expensive to enforce more stringent testing for all fighters, but there is an option without incurring that level of financial burden, and that is to make the penalties much harsher for confirmed cheats. Nine month suspensions should be extended to a two year minimum. Require cheaters to undergo more extensive testing at their own cost. We should also redefine the criteria for out of competition testing and make those parameters start the minute a bout agreement is signed. Those things would go a long way toward making the sport a more level playing field for everyone.
*The following section is a personal/entertainment Q&A that revolves around Luke’s appearance on Millionaire Matchmaker. Many thanks to our own Katie Winter for her question contributions in this section.*
Bloody Elbow: Are you a millionaire, and if so, where did your millions come from?
Luke Rockhold: [Laughs] I am doing well for myself. I’ve done well for a while now. I’ve done well with fighting; I made some good money with Strikeforce and I’m making good money with the UFC. I also dabble a bit on the outside. I’ve invested wisely, and I don’t spend what I make like a mad man. It’s not difficult if you do your homework.
Bloody Elbow: Was everything real on the show?
Luke Rockhold: No. Let’s put it this way, they saved their face. It made for good TV. The “spit or swallow” thing was a joke backstage, but it was edited to seem like I really asked that in seriousness. That’s why they only showed the back of my head when they played that audio. I was literally trolling the whole show. If you couldn’t tell, my goal was to drop as many one-liners as I could.
Bloody Elbow: What exactly did you mean when you said you liked to “sample everything,” when you travel?
Luke Rockhold: When I travel the world, I like to sample the different cultures. [Laughs] We’ll just leave it at that.
Bloody Elbow: Is the show host, Patty, really awful, or is that just a front for the show?
Luke Rockhold: I know that’s what she’s known for, and I’m sure it’s great for ratings, so they make it seem like she acts like that all the time. She’s a nice lady at times, and then she puts on a front when it’s time for the show. I don’t know her that well, just within the realm of the Matchmaker and all the chaos that surrounds it.
Bloody Elbow: Did you really have chemistry with Patty’s assistant or was that a result of your over the top trolling?
Luke Rockhold: We actually kissed prior to that scene backstage, which resulted in this huge argument among the hosts, which they immediately cut off. Editing is a bitch.
Bloody Elbow: You mentioned that you liked girls “with booty” on the show. This coincides with a rumor that you’re equally attentive to thick girls and svelte girls, alike. Is this true?
Luke Rockhold: I think all women are beautiful, so if one catches my eye that happens to be bigger than the “industry standard” I don’t discriminate. I wouldn’t really say I have a particular type. It’s a whole package thing for me. Curves are great. I look at it like this, women are like wine. Sometimes you want something a little more full-bodied, sometimes you want something a little lighter.
Bloody Elbow: Whose yacht was that?
Luke Rockhold: That was the boat I “rented” for the show.
Bloody Elbow: Do you prefer champagne or sangria? Do you even drink alcohol, or was that just TV props?
Luke Rockhold: Those were TV props. I don’t completely abstain, but those aren’t my preferences. I like my whiskey. I like my Jameson’s. I like my tequila. I dabble in some beer every once in a while, too. All in moderation, of course. Champagne is just a headache waiting to happen. Sangria is definitely out of my realm. I’d rather just have a good red wine instead.
Bloody Elbow: Did you plan your date itinerary or was the date pre-arranged from top to bottom?
Luke Rockhold: I pushed for something different, but there’s insurance policies and whatnot that prevented my plans. I wanted something a little more extreme, but that was as far as I could push it.
Bloody Elbow: Why would you even be on a show like Matchmaker when it’s abundantly clear you really don’t need that kind of help?
Luke Rockhold: You only live once, so why not use that show as another avenue to create more buzz for myself on a mainstream level. The UFC is well-known, but to a very specific group of people. The show gave me another platform to put my name out there and it was a nice distraction.
The way it came to pass is they called the UFC and asked for one of us to be on the show. The PR team had the light bulb go off in the head and they immediately reached out to me. You know, they’re always giving me the dirty work [laughs]. I happily accepted my role.
Bloody Elbow: Other than yourself, who has the best hair in MMA?
Luke Rockhold: Oh. I hate to say it, or give the guy any credit, but Bisping has got decent hair game. I’m not a fan of the beard, but his hair game is on point.
Bloody Elbow: If you had to fight yourself, what would be your most useful tool?
Luke Rockhold: Distraction. You’re allowed 4 cornermen in a fight. I’d make all 4 of my corners ridiculously hot cheerleaders and distract my opponent self.
Bloody Elbow: Final question. Who, in your opinion, holds the GOAT title?
Luke Rockhold: Fedor. It’s hard to go against him and his body of work. He’s a legend and really the only person I can think of that encompasses that whole aura of greatness.
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