Despite a dominant performance against Chris Weidman at UFC 194, newly crowned middleweight champion Luke Rockhold indicated he could’ve looked better.
If not for a nagging staph infection that forced him onto antibiotics and subsequently depleted his ability to maintain a high pace throughout the contest, Rockhold says he could’ve been more dominant in the co-main event.
His coach, Javier Mendez, says he was a bit worried going into the bout.
“I didn’t know how it was going to go down, I was extremely concerned regarding the staph [infection] and having to deal with two weeks of it,” Mendez said on The MMA Hour Monday. “Having other fighters going through a situation like that and all of a sudden they have nothing left.”
But it wasn’t just his fighter that was fighting at less than 100 percent, Mendez says.
“Something didn’t appear to be right with Chris either, in my opinion,” he said. “Maybe something was going on with him, whether it be mental or physical, I don’t know. So I guess you can say both of them were operating with some kind of handicap.”
Staph infection or not, Rockhold went on to become the first man to defeat Weidman in the former champion’s professional career. Not only that, but Rockhold managed to stop Weidman in the fourth-round of the contest, putting on what could be seen as the AKA fighter’s most dominant performance to date.
Rockhold moves on to 15-2, becoming the fifth former Strikeforce fighter to win a title inside the UFC.