Is Rockhold’s MMA Career Over?
Luke Rockhold has not officially called it a career, but it seems likely.
Rockhold has rarely competed inside the Octagon since losing the UFC middleweight championship due to multiple injuries, and UFC President Dana White urged him after his loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 to retire.
Rockhold told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he currently has no interest in fighting and that there is a “very” good chance he may never fight again. However, he added he does not want to “close doors” and won’t make an official retirement announcement despite currently having no plans to return.
Rockhold has other projects going on currently, including serving as a face for Polo Ralph Lauren in his modeling career, filming a movie in Canada next month, starting an education company and potentially competing in grappling matches.
Rockhold’s MMA career started in 2007 and he quickly found himself in Strikeforce. He went on a nine-fight win streak, which included winning the Strikeforce middleweight championship from Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in September 2011 and making defenses against Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy.
Rockhold moved to the UFC in 2013 after Strikeforce’s dissolution. Though he lost his Octagon debut against Vitor Belfort, Rockhold won his next five, defeating Costas Philipou, Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping and Lyoto Machida before ending Chris Weidman’s undefeated record to win the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 194. He’d lose his first title defense, however, dropping the belt to Bisping.
Rockhold defeated David Branch in his September 2017 but lost an interim middleweight title fight with Yoel Romero at UFC 221. Rockhold moved up to light heavyweight in 2019 but was knocked out by Blachowicz, suffering a broken jaw in the process.
Original Story: ESPN