Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold believes the world will see a new fighter in him when he returns to action.
Rockhold (16-4) will be competing at light heavyweight for the first time under the promotion when he takes on Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 on July 6.
The move comes after two knockout losses in his last three fights that included difficult weight cuts to the 185-pound limit. However, with 20 pounds fewer to cut now, Rockhold is confident of running through everyone in the light heavyweight division.
“I’m walking right through this motherfucker [Blachowicz],” Rockhold said recently on the Real Quick With Mike Swick Podcast. “I don’t really submit people these days. I just kind of take the life from them.”
“It’s going to be good man. I feel different, my weight, strength, power. Coming forward, I’m going to let myself be felt. I’m going to put it on these guys early and often, quick, short and to the point.”
Rockhold spoke further about how he was feeling compromised at middleweight. No longer draining his body, the 34-year-old now feels like his old self from the Strikeforce days.
“I feel free, I think the latter stages of my 185-pound career, I sucked so much weight off, it’s made me hesitant,” he added. “It’s taken away my power, I’m not as loose. I’ve had to be more tactical, kick and pop my shots.
“If you see me early on in my career, I’m letting it go. I have the power and I’m not completely drained to where I can perform better. I see myself in that same kind of feeling.”
Rockhold’s opponent in Blachowicz is currently #6 in the light heavyweight rankings.
A win over the Pole should see him within touching distance of a shot at Jon Jones in what could be the champion’s toughest fight since Daniel Cormier.