Former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold is a free agent.
Rockhold acknowledged a positive working relationship with UFC COO Hunter Campbell as the reason for his free agency. He asserted that he requested permission to carry out his activities abroad and highlighted a lengthy history of engaging in combat under less-than-ideal conditions. The former champion claimed that when he was released from the UFC, he still had a few fights left under his agreement.
“Me and Hunter – I’ve paid my dues, and he granted me my wish to be able to go have freedom, to be able to box, to go fight elsewhere. There’s a lot of different avenues. You’ve seen what Nate Diaz and Francis (Ngannou) are doing. There’s interesting, innovative companies coming up, and there’s a lot of things to correct in this world.”
Rockhold claimed that if he is offered a boxing battle, he can return right away because he has been training every day. He claimed that despite a recent ankle surgery going awry, which necessitated a delay in his resumption to work out, he had recovered and started to feel better than ever.
“I need a new setting,” Rockhold said. “I need a new challenge. ... You get burned out in the game when you’ve done so much, and you need new obstacles.”
In his lasting outing, Luke Rockhold was engaged in a thriller fight with the Brazilian Paulo Costa at UFC 278. Rockhold made his return to the octagon after taking a long layoff of around more than three years due to internal matters and injuries. The former middleweight champion wasn’t able to capitalize on his moment and lost by a unanimous decision. A fight full of action was declared Fight of the Night. After that in the post-fight interview, Rockhold decided to bid farewell to MMA.
With a 6-5 record in the octagon, Rockhold left the UFC. He defeated Chris Weidman for the title at UFC 194 in December 2015, as well as Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping, Ronaldo Souza, and others.
Rockhold stated that he might make a comeback in boxing, MMA at PFL, Bellator, ONE Championship, or another combat sport. While consistently stating that he sought challenges that inspired him, he would not entirely rule out a comeback to the UFC.
“That door is always open, but I want to go and f*** some people up,” Rockhold said, later adding. “If you want bulls***, we can go box, beat up these YouTubers, too.”
Upon staging his eagerly anticipated return to the octagon, Rockhold said he wasn't happy with how things were progressing and believed he might have more to deliver. He thinks the best is yet to come given that he is permitted to compete anywhere he pleases.
“I feel like I’m just getting better,” he said, “I feel like I’m finding my tempo, and it feels good. ... I’ve got mountains to climb.”