Luke Rockhold is not retired, but he may not be back to bare-knuckle after his BKFC 41 loss to Mike Perry.
The former UFC middleweight champion told fans he could “check bare knuckle off the list” after a brutal mouth injury ended his fight with Perry in the main event of Saturday’s pay-per-view card.
Rockhold gave Perry his props for teeth-shattering shots to his mouth in their two rounds together. He said a “beard” or “better mouthpiece” might have extended his night.
“It’s a shame it had to end that way,” he said.
Referee Dan Miragliotta waved off the fight at the 1:15 mark of the second frame after Rockhold looked at him and signaled something was wrong with his mouth; his lower lip appeared to be badly cut.
Later, BKFC President David Feldman explained Rockhold wasn’t able to continue because his “teeth got messed up pretty good.”
Photos of the fight revealed serious damage to Rockhold’s top front teeth.
In the ex-UFC fighter’s video, one of them is missing a serious chunk, leaving a jagged remnant.
Rockhold’s loss marked a setback to his post-UFC career, which began after he won his release from the promotion on a 1-4 skid that culminated with a decision loss to Paulo Costa at UFC 278. During that time, Rockhold stepped away from the sport for three years as he contemplated his future following a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239.
After his latest loss, Rockhold said he isn’t done with fighting – but next time out, he wants some protection for his hands.
Here is Rockhold’s full statement:
Well, f***. What can I say? You can check bare knuckle off the list. It’s some crazy shit. Those little knuckles got me, square on the front two [teeth]. Maybe a beard, maybe a better mouthpiece. It’s a good fight. It’s a shame it had to end that way. Motherf***** Mike, you tough bastard. Congrats. Thanks to my sponsors. Thank the people.
I’m not done. Some gloves would be nice, though.”