I am champion of the world, which is kind of crazy because only a few weeks ago I wasn’t even up for a title.
It’s only been a couple weeks since I became champ and all anyone wants to talk about is who I'm fighting next.
The obvious names are being thrown around, Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Jacare Souza and even Dan Henderson. I don’t plan on seriously thinking about any future fights until I get back from my victory tour back in my home country, but it is on my mind.
Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman
Luke of course is going to want a rematch, but I don’t necessarily think he deserves one straightaway. Our first fight was two years ago and this time I knocked him out in three minutes. I don’t think a rematch right now would excite anybody.
Chris Weidman is another possibility. I would defend the belt against Weidman, but he’s coming off a loss. I think he should go away and win a fight first. I think he and Rockhold should fight as originally scheduled, and I will happily fight the winner.
I had to earn my title shot, and I had to beat a lot of people to get here. Weidman needs to earn his shot because he lost his title and got dominated.
Shocking maybe, but I've actually had people reach out to me and tell he would fight me. It's definitely something I hadn't expected. I wouldn't have thought he'd come out of retirement but I'm ready, tell him to sign on the dotted line.
Souza is a very viable contender. Probably the most viable. He is who a lot of people think deserves the next shot, but he did recently lose to Yoel Romero and I have my eyes on someone else entirely.
I know that this isn’t really the correct choice for me, but it’s who I want. Henderson is going to retire soon, and we all know what happened at UFC 100 and he’s never let me forget that.
I would like to get my revenge before he retires. This is something that I have always wanted.
Back in the day he was on TRT, and I didn’t even know what TRT was! His body was enhanced, he was cheating. I’d like to fight him fair.
Yes, we’re both a little older, but we’re both still knocking people out. I think this is what the fans want to see. I’d like to get Henderson out of the way and then talk to the real contenders next.
Being champion means one thing: everyone wants to fight me. There is no shortage of contenders, that’s for sure.
No matter who I fight, I plan on holding onto the belt for a long time.
(Image by Amy Kaplan for Champions.co)