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Luke Rockhold open to UFC return to face “true champion”

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has expressed his interest in returning to the octagon to face the current champion, Israel Adesanya. Rockhold believes that he poses a unique set of challenges for Adesanya and is confident that he could reclaim the belt.

After three years away, Rockhold made his UFC 278 return in August of last year and lost to Paulo Costa by decision. He suffered his third straight loss, and following the defeat, he declared his retirement from combat. But shortly after a bit of deliberation, he requested and was granted his UFC ejection, and he is scheduled to fight in opposition to Mike Perry at BKFC 41.

The former UFC fighter Luke Rockhold said he is not ruling out a comeback, but it is unlikely to occur under an extended deal. Rather, he only intends to contend with Israel Adesanya because he anticipates the middleweight champion will face many difficulties against him.

“I’m not opposed to it, on my terms, for sure,” Rockhold said on Just Scrap Radio. “I’ve always been intrigued by an Israel fight, I think he is awesome and an amazing fighter. I think I’m getting better and I can test him, my striking has gotten so much better over the years, and as long as I’m in shape and I get things, I think I present a lot of problems for Izzy.”

Although Luke Rockhold's return to the UFC remains uncertainty, he still expects to fight Israel Adesanya just before his professional career is concluded. Adesanya, at the same time, has reclaimed his title as middleweight champion after defeating Alex Pereira by KO at UFC 287. Adesanya is a great champion, according to Rockhold, however, he is convinced that he can be defeated.

“I thought it was insane. The mental ability to go in there after three losses and stay composed and do his thing,” Rockhold concluded. “He put everything into it and people say what they say but he took the shots, got compromised, and landed the blows. All the credit to Izzy, I have nothing but respect and I like watching the kid fight. He’s f*****g awesome, a true champion.”

Rockhold's return to the UFC would certainly add another exciting element to the middleweight division, which has already seen some incredible matchups in recent years. A fight between him and Adesanya would be highly anticipated, with fans eager to see if Rockhold can reclaim the belt he lost to Michael Bisping back in 2016.

Of course, whether or not the UFC will grant Rockhold's wish remains to be seen. But if he does get his shot at Adesanya, it will undoubtedly be a fight to remember.


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