After being out of the sport for a little over a year, former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), is expected to come out of retirement, and make his return to MMA later this year, or early next year.
Rockhold, 35, initially retired after suffering a devastating knockout loss to top 10 ranked light heavyweight, Jan Blachowicz, in July of last year.
After losing his middleweight title to Michael Bisping back in 2016, Rockhold has been plagued with injuries, causing him to fight just once a year since then. During the last 4 years, Rockhold has gone 1-3 in his last four fights. With the three losses all coming by way of knockout, Rockhold may have been a bit burnt out of the sport, causing him to prematurely announce his retirement.
On Monday, Rockhold spoke with Submission Radio to talk about his statement regarding making a return to MMA.
“I still wanna fight,” Rockhold told Submission Radio. “You know, being away gave me a chance to clear my head and do the things I’ve always missed doing. I missed a lot of life, 15 years of MMA, always getting ready for a fight, and not being able to go here, travel there, do what I want, it’s always relied upon a training camp.”
“I’m still recovering and getting my body right too, there’s injuries and things that stacked up over the years that I was compromised with, and it was about getting that right too,” he added. “So I’m feeling better, I’m getting better, and I know I still have more in me. I just got to be focused without any outside pressure, any weight on my shoulders, you know, coming in there without all kinds of things that I allowed and took upon myself, I don’t think that helped the situation. So I’m gonna come back when I’m good and ready, and that will be sometime soon, I imagine the end of the year or early next year.”
Rockhold expressed interest in a rematch against Chris Weidman for his return fight, especially after seeing him pick up a lackluster win against Omari Akhmedov, this past weekend at UFC Vegas 6.