Luke Rockhold needed a break from fighting but there’s a reason he never actually retired.
The former UFC middleweight champion has been out of action since this past July when he suffered a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz in his first fight at 205 pounds. Afterwards, Rockhold hinted that his career might be finished but he wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on hanging up the gloves for good because there was always a chance he might want to fight again.
Now following shoulder surgery to repair a labrum tear and a rotator cuff, Rockhold is hinting that he may compete again, although nothing is set in stone at this time.
“That’s why I just kept my mouth shut,” Rockhold told MMA UK when asked about retiring and then staging a comeback. “People just do it to seek attention. I’m not trying to like make some big statement, make attention about it when I’m not sure about it.
“Here we are now. I’m getting healthier and I might be getting an itch. We’ll see.”
While Rockhold last competed as a light heavyweight, he made his name in the sport at 185 pounds where he held titles in the UFC and Strikeforce.
He knows there are a lot of interesting matchups for him in the middleweight division if a comeback is in the cards for him.
“A lot of interesting choices,” Rockhold teased. “If Anderson [Silva] is still interested and seemingly he is, maybe, you never know. [Chris] Weidman’s got a fight coming up. If something, he comes out of that well, you never know. There’s options.
“I’ve just got to get healthy. It’s getting healthy and getting everything right and just taking some time off. I’ve been pushing it so hard for 15 years in this sport. It’s nice to have a break, mentally it’s freeing. Get focused on some other things I can do and there’s a lot to maintain and keep up with.”
According to Rockhold he still has several fights remaining on his current UFC contract but for now his main concern is rehabbing his shoulder and waiting on the coronavirus pandemic to pass before he makes any decisions about his future.
“We’ll see how the UFC and everyone comes out of this coronavirus epidemic because it’s going to bury a lot of companies,” Rockhold said. “I’m curious to see how these fights come to be.”