Luke Rockhold isn’t sold on Georges St. Pierre as the UFC middleweight champion. In fact, he doesn’t seem to believe that St. Pierre belongs in the middleweight division at all. On The MMA Hour yesterday, Rockhold unloaded on the current champion and dismissed St. Pierre as a fighter in his division by saying, “He’s not fighting any of us.” “He’s too small. Guys like me would feast on Georges. He won’t last here. He had his opportunity, he got his belt, good for you. Just move along and let us handle our business here.” He continued by saying, “I don’t want to jump to conclusions,” “But, I mean, the fact is come out and just that say you don’t want to fight here in the division, relinquish the title, and move on. I’m tired of story after story and just dragging us on and leaving us in the dark. State what it is. If you’re sick you’re sick, but the fact is, you don’t want to fight in the division.”
From there, Rockhold turned his attention to Robert Whittaker who is the interim champion in the middleweight division. He said, “There’s been talks all along the way, potential this, potential that,” “They have to make up backup plans. They’re trying to make fights like Yoel Romero right now. Why would I fight Yoel Romero no one clear-cut fighting Whittaker? Obviously, I want to fight for the title if that’s available, I’m not going to f*cking sign any fight. I want to fight for the title, and if that’s available, that what I’m going to do.” Rockhold then continued his onslaught against St. Pierre by saying, “If Georges were to stay, it would be laughable.” “I’d be seeking the fight, I’m not seeking the fight because that’s not realistic. Georges won’t fight me, he won’t fight anyone. So, he looks right, Whittaker is the real champ, he has been the real champ a long time. Like I said, make it official and let’s move on.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rockhold has a point. That said, I still believe that Georges St. Pierre will fight and defend his title once again in the middleweight division. It may be naivety on my part, but I just can’t believe that Dana White would allow St. Pierre to come back in this fashion only to have him vacate the middleweight title a mere months after winning it. My call stays the same and St. Pierre and Robert Whittaker will have a unification bout for the true UFC middleweight championship. Luke Rockhold is going to have to wait in line. He’s made a nice case for himself but will have to wait until the title situation gets smoothed out.
TUESDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK
–Floyd Mayweather is making waves again. On his social media account via Fight Hype, Mayweather admitted to the world that he carried Conor McGregor in their August super-fight so as to entertain the millions of people watching. In his Fight Hype video, he said, “Everybody tried to protest the Mayweather-McGregor fight, right? But I’m gonna tell y’all the truth, I’m gonna tell y’all the truth. You know I carried McGregor. You know I made it look good for y’all.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: And? Mr. Mayweather, many people saw the fight and many people figured this was the case. Why is it a good business decision to confirm it? I can’t make sense of that unless he’s using that fact as an angle to face McGregor again. After all, quotes and social media posts like this are how we got to Mayweather/McGregor the first time. That said, once is enough. As exciting as the fight and build were for May/Mac one, they barely had a reason to be fighting outside of lots of zeros in their paychecks. In a second go around, they have even less of a reason. Leave this as a one-time thing fellas.
–UFC on FOX 26 gets some alterations. This event takes place on December 16th in Winnipeg. Jose Aldo was scheduled to compete against Ricardo Lamas in the co-main event but has been replaced since he fought Max Holloway at UFC 218 when Frankie Edgar was removed due to injury. Instead of Aldo, Lamas will be facing Josh Emmett. Other notable changes include Pietro Menga stepping in for Justin Scoggins against Tim Elliott. Darren Stewart is replacing Vitor Miranda against Julian Marquez. Lastly, Nordine Taleb and Danny Roberts will now be fighting each other due to the fact that their original opponents, Sultan Aliev and Sheldon Westcott, were removed from the card.
–Bellator announced Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione for Bellator 194. Bellator 194 will be live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on February 16th 2018. This fight is the second fight of four in the first round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Tickets for the event go on-sale on Friday, December 8th, 2017
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m not a huge fan of heavyweight MMA fights, but this tournament is intriguing. I hope the field can stay healthy. Regardless, this fight should be a good one.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST AND WEEKEND RECAP 12/4: Conor McGregor and Max Holloway trade jabs on social media after Holloway’s dominant UFC 218 victory (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)