Luke Rockhold is already considering a comeback just one month after his UFC 278 retirement fight against Paulo Costa.
Rockhold lost the fight by unanimous decision, but he won over many fans with his gutsy performance and crazy in-cage antics, including smearing blood on Costa's face in the final seconds.
Despite being retired, the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion is still training hard in the gym and admits that the prospect of Alex Pereira defeating Israel Adesanya for the title may inspire him to make a comeback.
“If I get inspired, if someone inspires me to get back in it…you never know,” Rockhold told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “[Maybe] That Brazilian dude winning the title. Alex Pereira.”
“I mean, there’s tons of opportunity. I’m not looking to get out of shape in any way, shape, or form. I really still enjoy the training aspect. I just don’t want to do the part that really hurts me. I’ll do some boxing sparring, but like, you get into full MMA sparring and everything starts to break down when you’re fighting the bad dudes. I’m just gonna work on getting better.”
The only thing that would deter Rockhold from returning to the UFC if 'that Brazilian dude' Pereira wins the belt is facing former champion Robert Whittaker in a number one contender's bout.
Rockhold was once regarded as one of the world's best middleweight fighters, having won world titles in multiple MMA promotions and defeating fighters such as Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, and Lyoto Machida, to name a few. He has gone 1-3 in his last four fights and hasn't looked like himself since losing his title to Bisping in 2016.