Lyoto Machida has only been finished twice in his 12 years of competing in mixed martial arts (MMA).
But Luke Rockhold is confident he can (and will) become the third person to stop the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion when they collide at UFC on FOX 15 on April 18, 2015 in a middleweight showdown in Newark, New Jersey.
In doing so, Rockhold tells MMA Fight Corner that UFC officials cannot deny him his much-desired shot at the division strap.
"I believe if I go out there and perform and do my job, I don't believe there's anything really left on the table. I'm going to take it as it comes, but Lyoto's obviously proved himself as a champion and did well for himself in his title fight versus Weidman. I go out there and perform, potentially finish him, I don't see how they can deny me."
Rockhold isn't just looking for any win, as the former Strikeforce middleweight champion says he wants to put an exclamation point on his performance by finishing the gritty veteran.
It won't be easy, but the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) - trained fighter says he has the tools to get the job done.
"I think I can finish Machida, and I think I can perform, and I look to be solid. Given [that] Machida is very quick, he's elusive, he poses a lot of threats. I mean, I'm not going to say it'll be a walk in the park. I know I can go out there and make it relatively easy if I go out there and fight the way I know I can. Like I said, it is Machida. I've just got to pursue him with caution and do what I plan on doing. I'm always going to look to be exciting and I think I can bring up a different avenue of threats that he hasn't really experienced yet. I'm going to go out there and try to perform. What can I say? Things don't always go as planned, but if things go the way my head thinks they're going to go, I'm going to go out there and dominate."
Easier said than done.
A win would give Rockhold his fourth straight after suffering a first-round knockout loss to Vitor Belfort -- the current No. 1 contender -- back at UFC on FX 8 in early 2013.
Couple that with a move up in the rankings and an injury-free future, and it's a sure-fire recipe for Luke to get to the top of the mountain. All the has to do is execute the first step in "Dirty Jersey" and convince Dana White and Co. that there is no one more qualified to fight for the belt.
For more on Luke's critical showdown against "The Dragon" click here.