The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion of the world has more than earned his stripes in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), becoming the only combatant to hold 185-pound straps for both Strikeforce and UFC, so you can’t fault him for walking and talking with a hint of swagger.
Still, his attitude rubs some of his peers -- like Fabricio Werdum -- the wrong way.
Another rival who doesn’t appreciate his “arrogance” is Anthony Smith, frowning on the fact that Luke was dropping his name during a recent interview. According to Rockhold, Jon Jones needs to quit wasting his time on fighters such as “Lionheart” — whom he is expected to face at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019 — and move up to Heavyweight to battle Daniel Cormier.
Smith obviously disagrees.
“Are we going to gloss over the fact that Luke Rockhold is an asshole? I don’t know Luke Rockhold,” said Smith during a recent chat with Luke Thomas on Sirius XM Fight Nation. “Other than weighing in on one card that we fought on at the same time, I don’t know if I’ve ever been in the same room as him at the same time. I’ve never said one word, good or bad about him. And for whatever reason, you know, he is so... God, he’s just such an asshole. Like I don’t know what the hell I did to that guy, first of all.”
Furthermore, Smith insists Rockhold’s recent track record gives him no room to talk down on any other combatant, and nearly losing his head against Yoel Romero should be enough to humble him a bit.
“For Luke to come and start talking about me, first of all, you’ve been knocked out two of your last three times. Yoel Romero almost fucking decapitated him. He’s coming off a loss and he can’t even make it to his next fight,” added a heated Smith.
“So who is he to talk about anybody else in the UFC? He’s the most arrogant prick I’ve ever seen or heard speak in my life. And I’ve never done anything to that dude. I’ve never even literally shook his hand. I just don’t know where his sense of arrogance comes from. I fought four times in 13 months or something, got three bonuses. What are you doing? You’re not doing shit. You’re sitting on the sidelines, limping around.”
Rockhold is indeed ramping up his efforts to return to action later this year, possibly at 205 pounds. That means a showdown between him and Smith could be inevitable. Until then, should the two men cross paths at the local Walmart, you better put security on high alert.
“I don’t understand how you can just disparage someone so bad that, number one, has done nothing to you, and number two, is highly-regarded as one of the hardest-working and most devoted guys in the sport,” he said. “I’ve never attacked him, I just don’t get it. I will fight that guy anywhere. I will fight that guy in aisle five of Walmart.”