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Morning Report: Luke Rockhold strongly considering retirement: ‘I have no interest in fighting right now’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Just a few years ago, Luke Rockhold was considered one of the brightest prospects in all of MMA, with the potential to lord over the middle weight division for year to come. Now, almost impossibly, it appears the former middleweight champion is strongly considering calling it a career.

Speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani recently, Rockhold said he currently has no designs on fighting again.

“I have no interest in fighting right now,” Rockhold said.

It’s easy to see why Rockhold feels that way. After losing his middleweight title when Michael Bisping knocked him out in 2016, Rockhold rebounded with a comeback win over David Branch. He then was knocked out yet again, this time by Yoel Romero in an interim title bid. Following that loss, Rockhold spent the better part of a year battling a shin injury which required multiple surgeries. He finally made his return to the cage in July, jumping up to the light heavyweight division with designs on reinvigorating his career. Instead, he once again fell prey to a left hook, getting knocked out by Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. That loss prompted UFC President Dana White to encourage Rockhold to retire from the sport and evidently, Rockhold feels the same way. Though he says he’s not ready to make a formal announcement because he doesn’t like “closing doors,” when asked if he it was possible he’d never fight again, Rockhold was clear.

“Very [possible].”

Should this be the end of Rockhold’s career, he retires with an excellent resume. Though his recent rough run brings it down some, Rockhold has a career record of 16-5 and is the only man to have held both Strikeforce and UFC titles.


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Enjoy the fights tonight and see y’all on Monday.



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