Salt Lake City, UT — Returning former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold did not mince words during Wednesday’s UFC 278 media day.
From fighter pay and post-fight bonuses, to new media kids like Barstool Sports and Full Send MMA, Rockhold covered plenty of topics, and did not hold back.
When it comes to some of the smaller bonuses the UFC has brought in, and post-fight bonuses that are still $50,000 years and years after they had slowly crept up, Rockhold pointed the finger at the UFC’s current ownership.
“When Lorenzo and Frank [Fertitta] were running this show, there was real grounding wires. These guys, they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re letting Dana [White] just run the show and suppress the sport,” Rockhold told media outlets including Cageside Press. “They need to grow, this whole fucking thing needs to grow together. Our lives are on the f*cking line. Healthcare needs to be taken care of. Our f*cking health needs to be taken care of. Mine has not been taken care of. There’s a lot of things that need to f*cking change.”
Rockhold also took offense of an interview Full Send MMA did with Chito Vera, where they presented the Ecuadorian bantamweight with a Mexican luchador mask. “I see this motherf*cker right here. You gotta do your f*cking homework,” Rockhold said, addressing a Full Send MMA reporter. “This degenerate culture of f*cking Barstool Sports and Full Send, it’s like, you gotta do your homework. You can’t approach Chito and give him a f*cking Mexican mask about his culture. His culture, he’s f*cking Ecuadorian motherf*cker, do your homework.”
On his fight with Paulo Costa, Rockhold (16-5) admitted that he’s been preparing for a fighter that scares him.
“I’m fighting a beast, no doubt. And I wanted that. I wanted a guy that scares me, and gets me up in the morning, and fuels me to f*cking push myself to the end of who I am,” Rockhold stated. “And that’s what defines a real man, is finding the biggest test, the biggest challenge, and going out there and f*cking putting themselves up to it.”
“You’re going to succeed, or die trying,” he added.
Rockhold noted that training camp has been long, with Costa delaying the fight more than once. “The UFC confirmed that this would be the last change. I like this opponent a lot. They put me right back into the heat of it. You know me, I’m always going straight for the jugular. I’ve never been scared to do it, I’m not one to dance around, I’m not trying to do anything to stay here longer than I have to. I want to go out there and do this f*cking thing right.”
But, added Rockhold, “I feel f*cking good. Right now, I feel stronger and stronger by the day. And it feels right. I’m not questioning myself. And I’m going to go out there, no matter what, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to try to be the best I can be. Like I said before, the less I question myself, the more I can see this man questioning himself.”
Watch the full UFC 278 media day scrum with Luke Rockhold above.