The UFC roadshow sets down in Pittsburgh this Saturday night in what promises to be an excellent nights card in a great fight town. Middleweight Luke Rockhold will be looking to get his career back on track and set up a title shot with the winner of Michael Bisping and George St Pierre.
I have to say i find Luke Rockhold hard to warm to. I’ve seen him interviewed numerous times and to my eye always displays this casual arrogance which is extremely annoying. It was this arrogance that got his ass knocked out by Michael Bisping in his first UFC Middleweight title defence . If ever there was a case of a champion under-estimating his opponent that was the fight. At the time i was delighted Bisping won the fight and what Luke has found out is that when you fall off the gravy train it’s a long climb to get back on.
What is not in doubt is Rockhold’s ability as a mixed martial artist. He also has a mean streak which all the great fighters have and i only have to think back to the Weidman fight to remember how awesome his potential is. However if he doesn’t deal with his Hubris he’ll find himself in trouble in this fight.
David Branch comes into this fight ranked no 9 in the UFC middleweight division. He is unbeaten in 5 years. However he is very light on UFC experience with only the one fight in the UFC at UFC211 against the Polish fighter Kryzystof Jotko. A win via split decision on the night. All other wins have come via the WSOF (World Series of Fighting) which is in a different (lower) league to the UFC.
However Branch has everything to win and very little to lose in this fight and reports from his camp are that he has trained extremely well during fight camp. There have been plenty of verbal barbs between the two in the lead up and I have seen Branch’s Barber shop Youtube clip mocking Rockhold.
Make no mistake Luke Rockhold should win this easy well inside the distance however I’ve seen that casual arrogance surface a couple of times during interviews and if he doesn’t keep it at bay it will be his downfall. Rockhold needs a stoppage victory to come out of this with any increased profile because you can bet Michael Bisping will love nothing better to make him wait and wait for their inevitable rematch.
Luke once famously said he would have no problem taking time away from the sport to pursue modelling opportunities and has appeared on the Reality TV show Millionaire Matchmaker. He rather infamously asked a date a question on that show. He should asked of it himself
‘ Do you spit or swallow’
Well maybe It’s time to swallow your pride buddy and spit out the arrogance.