If you’re sick of hearing about how good Luke Rockhold is, since he took out Lyoto Machida in memorable fashion at UFC on FOX 15, then you might want to skip this post.
Yes, thanks to what Rockhold has showcased in his last four outings, the ‘he’s that good’ cat is completely out of the bag. Hardcore fans and pundits have been singing Rockhold’s praises for years, but much of that was tied to his striking game. Those folks also knew the ATT fighter was extremely well rounded, but in his recent outings, his ground game has really shone brightly.
Well, one man who wasn’t surprised with what he saw on Saturday night is Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, who, if you’re unaware, is one of the planet’s best grapplers. While speaking to the Brazilian publication Tatame recently, here is what he had to say about Rockhold (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I trained with Luke and he is a high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt, not only in MMA”, said Almeida. “If he fought in jiu-jitsu competitions, he would do really well, because he has a very straight forward game and he’s a finisher. He was a great answer for all those guys who like to criticize blackbelts in MMA. I trained with him and know how tough he is, so that submission didn’t come as a surprise. Congratulations to Luke, who always shows beautiful jiu-jitsu inside the Octagon”.
There you go. It would be interesting to see how Rockhold would fare against Weidman’s top game, if the champ could put the contender on the ground, but that’s jumping ahead a little bit.
Weidman is scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort on May 23rd at UFC 187. UFC President Dana White has said that who will fight the winner of that bout–as far as Rockhold or “Jacare” Souza–has yet to be determined.