Although one might argue Luke Rockhold doesn’t have quite the same amount of expectations riding on him, as Daniel Cormier did heading into his UFC debut last month, there certainly is plenty of hype accompanying the middleweight as he gets ready to fight Vitor Belfort. Just like Cormier, Rockhold is a former Strikeforce champ and a top ten ranked fighter, who could be in the title shot mix sooner than later.
Of course, Cormier worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Frank Mir at UFC on FOX 7, and considering he’s a training parter of Rockhold at American Kickboxing Academy, he was in a good position to pass Rockhold some advice about making his UFC debut. While appearing on this week’s edition of The MMA Hour, Cormier warned Rockhold about the infamous ‘UFC jitters‘.
“I told him to expect everything to be a little different. The nerves and everything surrounding the fight is going to get to you more than the actual fight.”
Cormier emphasized that the hype and coverage that surrounds fight week can be particularly draining.
“It’s everything that happens outside the cage that affects you. And it may affect you a little bit when you step in there because you use so much energy on media obligations, the intensity of the weigh-ins, the crowd and everything, and all this other stuff, it gets into your mind, you’re ultra pumped up.”
Rockhold will also have to make his debut in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, against one of that nation’s biggest MMA stars. That probably won’t soothe the nerves.
Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for more on UFC on FX 8.