Although his Octagon debut was an utter and complete failure, losing via knockout in the first round to Vitor Belfort, it was still expected that Luke Rockhold would be a major player in the middleweight division. Tonight (Wed., Jan. 15, 2014) at the Arena at Gwinnet Center in Duluth, Georgia, live on Fox Sports 1, he was given the chance to make a good impression in his second outing opposite Costa Philippou in the main event of UFC Fight Night 35.
Did he ever.
The former Strikeforce champion was far more patient this time out, waiting for his moment to counter Philippou right when he came winging in with a big punch looking to use his one weapon, power. When that happened, Rockhold rocked him and had him backed up.
Not long after, he fired off a head kick that found its mark. But it was a follow up kick to the body, right on the liver, that sent Philippou crashing to the mat.
The referee stepped in right after.
"I'm not here to be good, I'm here to be great," Rockhold said in his post-fight interview. "I want my rematch with Vitor, and I would like it here in the states. I'll go through anybody to get that, especially Michael Bisping; that would be nice."
Sound good to you.