Luke Rockhold and Sean Strickland were supposed to face off against each other at UFC 268, until a back injury sidelined the former middleweight champion. The pair have also trained together in the past, but it’s somewhat unsurprising that the two middleweights with polarizing personalities never really seemed to get along.
Strickland, who admitted to having a neo-Nazi “phase” and claims he’d “love” to legally kill someone, has said a lot of controversial and outrageous things as of late. He also claimed he’s willing to take a “misdemeanor charge” to beat up Rockhold in the parking lot.
The former UFC champion in Rockhold attributed Strickland’s behavior to extensive drug use clouding his thoughts.
“Yeah, I don’t have a lot of respect for the man or what that man says. I don’t think anybody does. And I don’t think he really knows what he’s talking about,” Rockhold told Submission Radio. “When you’ve done that many drugs, I don’t know if things really come off clearly and if there’s much of a thought process to what he does.”
Rockhold also says this alleged drug use indirectly helped his fighting style.
“I think that’s why’s he so effective. It’s cause he doesn’t think, he doesn’t know,” Rockhold said about Strickland. “And he just fights with stupidity and it actually benefits him to a certain extent.”
As for all of Strickland’s talk about his murder fantasies, Rockhold slammed him for not having “killer instinct,” especially on his last win against Jack Hermansson.
“I think he fought f—king scared,” he said. “Honestly, I watched his last fight and I think he fought scared. He was like, you know, the pressure starts to get to you when you get to the top and you get to that potential, those title fights, and he didn’t let it go. He didn’t earn anybody’s respect.”
“He can’t — he doesn’t have that f—king mentality, that f—king killer instinct. F—king killer instinct is what it is, and if you want to charge me in the parking lot, you better have the killer instinct, because I have it. And I’m not one to f—k with.”
Rockhold also noted that his back is recovering, and he’s looking “to press on the gas” in training and make a return in June. The one-time middleweight champion hasn’t fought since 2019, where he moved up and lost at light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz.
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