Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold talks about his life at the moment and reveals one opponents he wishes he faced in the UFC.
Luke Rockhold is one of the most decorated fighters in the middleweight division. He is the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion with an impressive resume.
Rockhold’s record consists of wins over fighters like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Tim Kennedy, Costas Philippou, Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida, Chris Weidman and David Branch among others.
He has recently been on the losing end in his last couple of fights. Rockhold has back-to-back knockout losses against Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz in his last 2 fights.
He faced Romero at UFC 221 in February, 2018 for the interim UFC middleweight title. Rockhold lost the fight via knockout (punches) in the 3rd round. Following his loss to Romero, he decided to switch things up and try his luck in the UFC light-heavyweight division. Rockhold faced Jan Blachowicz in his debut at UFC 239 in July of last year, losing to the Polish fighter via knockout (punches) in the 2nd round and hasn’t competed in the Octagon since.
The former champion recently appeared on an episode of the Major Waves Podcast, where he talked about his current situation and what he has been doing since his last fight:
“I’m taking a leave of absence,” Rockhold said.
“I’m just kind of doing my thing right now — getting life organized, getting things together. It’s good to be back on the West Coast. I was training out in Florida and it’s just – Florida’s tough. It’s hot, it’s humid – it’s a different lifestyle.”
Despite being on the receiving end of some brutal knockout losses, Rockhold still remains one of the most accomplished middleweights in MMA history. He does regret not fighting a certain legend of the sport, who he believes, he would have beat:
“I wish I would have had the chance to fight Anderson,” Rockhold said.
“Especially in that time, I think I would have beat him. I don’t know – I think there’s just promotional reasons. They didn’t see it quite right at that time. If I would have beat Vitor, then me and Anderson would have fought right away, straight away. But then I had to go reprove myself through the ranks after that loss.”
Rockhold also stated that he would love to complete the trilogy against his rival Michael “The Count” Bisping, but knows that it won’t happen:
“I think I just kind of came to the conclusion where I’m just content with it,” Rockhold said.
“Obviously, there’s easy fights where I’d like them back and I knew that I could have wrote that story differently – like my second fight with Bisping. But I’m not going to get that. I’m a realist.”
Rockhold faced Bisping for the second time at UFC 199 in June of 2016. He was initially scheduled to rematch the former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who withdrew from the bout due to an injury. Bisping would later step in as a late replacement against Rockhold, upsetting the champion via 1st round knockout (punches).
Bisping went on to successfully defend his UFC middleweight title against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 in October, 2016. He later lost the title in a fight against the former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC 2017 in November, 2017.
Following his loss to St-Pierre, “The Count” attempted a quick turnaround against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122. He lost the fight via knockout (punch) in the very 1st-round and has since retired from professional MMA.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 4th April, 2020.