After an eventful (for lack of a better term) week in Florida in anticipation to Hurricane Irma, we are back in business and better than ever. Better than ever because Luke Rockhold has just completed his training camp with Henri Hooft under our roof, and is now at the official weigh-in as he faces off David Branch as we speak (or as I type this).
Yes, the champ is back bigger, stronger, and “badder” than ever. The former StrikeForce and middleweight champion has had a lengthy spell on the sidelines after his defeat to Michael Bisping and also due to an injury, but now, after having recuperated and trained extensively under Henri Hooft’s “hkickboxing” system, Rockhold is on a mission to take his title back, and he believes David Branch is his first crucial step back into the fold. UFC film crews were here at Hard Knocks 365 to capture some footage of Rockhold’s intense training regime. In an interview, Rockhold said, “obviously I’m not happy about how my last fight went, and I’m ready to come back and write that wrong. First we take down David Branch, then we take back the game”. Rockhold was nothing short of resolute during his camp. He had observed Hooft’s high-caliber methodology first-hand when he was on the losing side in his bout versus Belfort, when Hooft happened to be cornering Belfort, and as such, sought out Henri for this ever-crucial bout against Branch. The rest was history, and Rockhold too, will make history once he ends David Branch’s 11-fight win streak.
But he isn’t alone. Kamaru Usman, and Gilbert Burns, will also be present at UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh at the PPG Paints Arena this Saturday, and they face tough opposition in Sergio Moraes and Jason Saggo. But Usman, unlike Durinho and Rockhold, is on a roll, having won his last 9 fights in a row. The Nigerian Nightmare has an impressive record of 10-1 that he will look to improve on to be a top contender, while Durinho is on the verge of a comeback, having lost his last fight to Michel Prazeres. If the trio go 3-for-3 at the end of Saturday night, it will be a big boost for Henri Hooft, and of course, Hard Knocks 365.