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Morning Report: Luke Rockhold eager to box Jake Paul: ‘UFC released me just to go f****** hunt that kid down’

UFC 278: Usman v Edwards 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Luke Rockhold is over the Jake Paul boxing fad.

Combat sports free agency has gotten crazier than ever in 2023. Notable names like Nate Diaz and Francis Ngannou have now been joined by the likes of the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion.

Rockhold retired directly after his Paulo Costa unanimous decision defeat this past August. The ability to take his pick with any future opportunity imaginable has seemingly rejuvenated the brash 38-year-old and he hopes to show the newer generation a thing or two in his next time out.

“I’d like to beat up all these little f****** punks that think they can box,” Rockhold told Helen Yee. “Especially one in particular. Jake [Paul] would be f****** great. The UFC kinda released me just to go f****** hunt that kid down.

“I asked for the release, we were talking about after our boxing session at Churchhill [Boxing Club] with Pete Berg and he said, ‘Ah, yeah. I’ll ask Dana [White].’ And he said, yeah, Luke can go f****** fight that kid. Go beat his ass. I said, okay. I will. So, I was released to beat your f****** ass. The dog is here. The bounty man. The hitman. I’m f****** here. Answer the f****** call.”

A boxing match with Rockhold would be right in line with the trajectory of Paul’s pro boxing career thus far. In “The Problem Child’s” six matches, he’s fought former MMA champions in his previous four, winning against all of them.

Paul’s last bout was arguably his toughest yet, defeating Rockhold’s fellow former UFC middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva via a unanimous decision in October. Feb. 25 in Saudi Arabia is now the expected next date for Paul to compete as he and Tommy Fury will attempt to make a third booking the charm for their match. Should any issue prevent Fury from making it to fight night, Rockhold will be ready to step in.

“We all know Jake. You ain’t s***,” Rockhold told The Schmo. “We all know Tommy Fury ain’t gonna make it to the fight so I might as well just f****** skip around the gym and just be ready to f****** tap dance on that kid’s f****** face come Feb. 25.

“Tommy Fury should just go box Dillon Danis. I think that’s the pullout match of all time. I show up to the fights, I do my thing. Otherwise, there’s opportunities everywhere. I’m ready to f****** fight. I’m just not ready to be locked into any contracts. I enjoy this freedom. The best is yet to come.”


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Well, alright then.


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Highlighty highlight.

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As a longtime fan, I’m glad we’re likely getting to see Rockhold back... I just don’t care for it or want it to be in boxing. I’m not sold on him joining Bellator so PFL’s upcoming PPV events may be just what the doctor ordered. No chance he competes in the seasonal tournament.

Happy Friday, all. Enjoy another UFC-less weekend before things get really crazy. Thanks for reading!



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