Athletes & Celebrities

Luke Rockhold Readies for UFC 194 Title Shot

The former Strikeforce middleweight champion discusses his diet and training ahead of Chris Weidman fight in December.

Luke Rockhold
Getty/Zuffa LLC

Luke Rockhold has heard the rumors, grown impatient and down right near contemplated taking a fight in the interim, when on Friday August 14, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion finally got what he wanted — a title showdown with UFC 185-pound champion Chris Weidman

The tussle will take place at the blockbuster UFC 194 pay-per-view on December 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, which also features an exciting interim featherweight title unification bout between unstoppable Brazilian Jose Aldo and boisterous interim champion Conor McGregor.

Rockhold is one of UFC's top middleweight fighters, boasting an Octagon record of 4-1, with four-straight victories. Like his champion counterpart Weidman, the 30-year-old is one of the largest fighters in the middleweight class, standing tall at 6'3," while weighing roughly 200 pounds when he's not fighting. 

Rockhold, who spent time training at the EXOS performance center in Arizona earlier this summer, spoke to Muscle & Fitness regarding his preparation for the biggest fight of his life.

Luke Rockhold Q&A

M&F: How much time have you spent in the gym, despite not knowing when you’re fighting?

Rockhold: I’m making a lot of money and trying to capitalize. I’m also training. When I’m on the road in Florida, I’m trying to get what I can from different trainers and better myself in any way. I’m home right now. I’ve been training all week. 

I’m hungry right now, but at the same time, I know that I can’t constantly train every day. I need to enjoy myself. I’m an outdoorsman. I like to go out; I like to have a couple of cocktails. Everything in moderation, but I’m definitely in-shape and pushing the envelope farther than I ever have, especially with the time off. 

I went out to the EXOS Combine in Phoenix to learn more about nutrition and different machines to try and stay in-shape and better my body. 

M&F: Can you talk about the work you did there?

LR: EXOS is an initiative that the UFC has taken to try and better us as athletes and keep us healthy. Just building a better foundation; agility, footwork. Just a better machine in general; working on every little thing. Core and balance. 

Then covering the whole nutritional side of recovery and enhancing the body; giving it the best fuel to perform. There’s so many levels they cover there. It’s definitely a one-stop shop and it was an eye-opening experience. It’s something I’m always trying to do; do my homework outside of the sport. A lot of fighters and athletes don’t pay a lot of attention to themselves. On the nutritional side of things, trying to understand something themselves instead of being a “yes” man and being told what to do. It’s always a focus of mine to have my own understanding of what’s best for me. It was a really good experience to go out there and learn more about the scientific side of training. 

M&F: Can you give us a brief rundown of the Luke Rockhold diet? 

LR: I have a varied diet. I definitely incorporate different food that are the best for me in recovery and performance. I think it’s good not to stick to one diet in particular. I have chicken twice a week in my dinners. I’ll always incorporate eggs in my mornings and afternoons. I’m going to have steak twice a week, chicken twice a week and fish twice a week. I really like liver. It’s one of the most nutritional and essential animal fats out there. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals for recovery. It varies depending on how close I am to a fight. 

I’m high on animal fats and I believe in that as building block for building muscle and for recovery. Complex carbs – sweet potatoes are a staple of my diet. I’ll incorporate other carbs. I’ll have wild rice or quinoa. I’ll always have just a basic food table out. Recovery-wise; a lot of fruits and beforehand I’m doing oatmeal. A lot of leafy greens; spinach and kale. Beets are obviously another great staple of my diet. They help oxygenate the blood and with recovery. 

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