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Luke Rockhold: AKA isn’t what it used to be

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Leading up to his middleweight title fight in Australia, Rockhold talks Kelvin Gastelum and training changes.

UFC 221 Perth Workouts Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images

Luke Rockhold is a big middleweight, and he makes pretty much all the rest of the middleweight division look tiny by comparison. Just take a look at the first shots of Rockhold and 185 pound champ Whittaker facing off in Australia for proof of that. So imagine how small beefy welterweight Kelvin Gastelum would look? Luke poked some fun at Kelvin's expense on the latest episode of Submission Radio over Gastelum's frustration in being overlooked for a title shot.

"I know I’ve proven myself, I’ve accomplished things in this sport," Rockhold said. "Whereas little midgets like Kelvin Gastelum haven’t. I’ve destroyed Chris Weidman, and he got destroyed by Weidman, so it’s like eeeeeeh. This kid hasn’t beaten really anybody and done anything in this sport, and for him to run his mouth, it’s pretty funny. It’s laughable."

"He’ll find out real if he continues his efforts at 185. I’d slap that kid down real quick. Real quick.”

Another interesting factoid coming up in the interview: Rockhold isn't training at AKA as much any more, and he says it's because the dynamic has changed and all his training buddies aren't around any more.

"You know, AKA’s not what it used to be," Rockhold said. "Like, you get guys filtering in and out, but, I mean, Cain’s [Velasquez] been injured, Khabib’s [Nurmagomedov] always in Russia, DC’s [Daniel Cormier] doing TV. I gotta look out for myself. I love my brothers and my team out there and you’ll see a lot of them in my corner I’m sure, but this is time to be the best I can be and think about myself right now.”

Instead, Rockhold is spending his time with legendary kickboxing coach Henri Hooft in Florida. We imagine that'll help him close those gaps Michael Bisping exploited when he lost that belt.