Former Strikeforce champion and current UFC middleweight contender Luke Rockhold suffered a knee injury which forced him to withdraw from the UFC 166 fight card on October 19th. With his knee almost fully healed, Rockhold has expressed interest in fighting fellow UFC middleweight Francis Carmont before the end of 2013.
According to Fox Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight,” Rockhold’s knee should be cleared for him to continue training by early November and he is eyeing to get a fight scheduled as soon as UFC 168 on December 28th. His first pick is French mixed martial artist Francis Carmont. If that fight is unavailable for UFC 168, the 29 year-old American Kickboxing Academy fighter has also said he would like to fight Constantinos Philippou as a backup.
Rockhold was originally supposed to fight Tim Boetsch at UFC 166, but he was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. Boetsch got C.B. Dollaway instead, who he defeated by split decision.
The UFC has not made any official comments regarding the potential matchup between Rockhold and Carmont. However, that hasn’t stopped Carmont from responding to Rockhold’s challenge via twitter:”Luke Rockhold wants to fight me.” Carmont elaborated further by stating, “he is the champion of Strikeforce, I’m ready, let’s go.”
Rockhold responded to Carmont’s twitter comments by mocking his teammate, current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges Saint Pierre: “Lets make a deal. If I beat you, GSP can never wear that little camo hat again?”
Even though Rockhold lost his last fight in devastating fashion via knockout by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort, he is still widely considered to be among the world’s top 10 middleweight fighters. Carmont has fought in the UFC 6 times and has never lost, so setting up this fight actually does make some logical sense.