Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is making an early prediction about the next 185-pound title tilt inside the Octagon between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the American Kickboxing Academy staple explains that he expects the championship bout to be another decisive title defense for Weidman, especially since the fight is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada (via MMA Mania).
"I think Chris beats him and of course I'm interested in the fight. I think he'll get the take down and I think he'll control him. Chris is a smart guy and he sticks to the gameplan and he's a tough wrestler. If he gets that early take down, it's a different world for Vitor. People haven't really gotten to that point. I strayed from the gameplan and I obviously got caught with some crazy stuff. I think Chris will stick to it and he will be the one to break him. And in Vegas wouldn't hurt either, a little more strict conditions."
Rockhold fought Belfort in his UFC debut at UFC on FX 8 in May, where fans generally anticipated a competitive and unpredictable bout between the two ranked middleweights.
However, the matchup ended up being another quick, stunning highlight-reel knockout from "The Phenom," knocking out Rockhold with a spinning heel kick, which he followed up with punches on the ground.
The loss marked only the second in Rockhold's career as a professional mixed martial artist and was the first time he didn't have his hand raised in six-and-a-half years.
Meanwhile, Weidman vs. Belfort was announced long before "The All-American" defeated the legendary Anderson Silva at UFC 168 late last month—a reasonable pairing considering that Belfort is riding a three-fight win streak (all knockouts).
Weidman and his team have already publicly blasted Belfort for his testosterone replacement therapy usage, though that may not be something that plays a factor in the fight since the bout takes place on American soil.
Nevada State Athletic Director Keith Kizer previously told Bleacher Report that Belfort may have difficulty receiving a TRT exemption from his commission due to a failed drug test for elevated testosterone in 2006.
Is Rockhold right on the money in believing Weidman will dominate Belfort, or will the hard-hitting Brazilian continue to turn back the clock and deliver another devastating finish to capture UFC gold?