top of page

Lyoto Machida Responds to Luke Rockhold's Karate Combat Challenge

Lyoto Machida Responds to Luke Rockhold's Karate Combat Challenge
Lyoto Machida (left), Luke Rockhold (right)

Lyoto Machida, the former UFC light heavyweight champion known as "The Dragon," is already gearing up for a potential showdown with Luke Rockhold under Karate Combat rules, provided the financial terms are right.

Rockhold recently issued a callout to Machida after his impressive knockout victory over Joe Schilling at Karate Combat 45 in Dubai. Machida, responding to the challenge on Instagram, expressed his eagerness for the fight, stating,

"‘The Dragon’ is already breathing fire since they announced this challenge. Now, get to the right numbers, let’s get a date, and see when we’re having this dog fight.”

This potential rematch carries significant history, as Rockhold and Machida previously faced off in the UFC in 2015, where Rockhold secured a victory by submitting Machida, earning himself a title shot at middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

While Machida has been out of the competitive scene since concluding his Bellator contract with a loss to Fabian Edwards in 2022, Rockhold's recent ventures include a decision loss to Paulo Costa in the UFC in August 2022, followed by a TKO defeat to Mike Perry in bare-knuckle boxing in 2023. His victory over Schilling marked his return to winning ways after a hiatus since his second-round stoppage of David Branch in 2017.

Rockhold's callout was straightforward, expressing his desire to face Machida in the Karate Combat pit, where elbows are not allowed, addressing Machida's infamous elbow strikes. Rockhold's post-fight interview in Dubai included a challenge to Machida, stating,

"There’s only one man I wanna fight in this pit, and that’s Lyoto Machida. Bring it. Let’s see what you got, let’s see what your paychecks look like. Bring out that checkbook. Lyoto, I know you need a payday, motherf*****. Come get it.”

As negotiations potentially unfold for this intriguing matchup, fans eagerly await the prospect of witnessing two former champions clash under unique Karate Combat rules, creating a buzz within the combat sports community.


bottom of page