Luke Rockhold caught wind of Robert Whittaker’s comments about being burnt out and he can sympathize.
Fight fans expressed concern upon hearing that Whittaker’s removal from the UFC 248 card back in March wasn’t due to an injury. Those fears only grew when UFC president Dana White appeared choked up when discussing why “The Reaper” wasn’t competing. Fortunately, rumors of Whittaker’s daughter being sick weren’t true but the former UFC middleweight champion did reveal that he was burnt out and as a result, his mental health deteriorated.
Luke Rockhold Says He Sympathizes With Robert Whittaker
Appearing on Submission Radio, Rockhold gave his take on Whittaker’s comments and said the naysayers aren’t clued in on the sacrifices MMA fighters have to make (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“People want to talk sh*t from afar and don’t understand what fighting is,” Rockhold said. “Getting to the top of the world and fighting those wars that Whittaker put in and having a family, I can’t really imagine what that does to you. You don’t want to do that forever. That’s why I never really introduced a family to this lifestyle, because it’s a lot to handle and I see a lot of people that I don’t understand how they manage it. . .
“I think it’s just finding the hunger once you get to the top of the world. . . You’ve gotten there, you’ve done that, what more do you want? It’s not for everybody to keep following that path. I feel like there was a tremendous weight off my shoulders and that’s why I can see where Whittaker would – he’d proven that, he’d defended that, and he’d done it a few times and proved himself. So finding that motivation and that hunger to keep going on with that same passion, I think that’s the biggest key.”
Rockhold has been taking time off from MMA competition. Following his knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz back in July 2019, Rockhold said that he would be focusing on other ventures in his life but didn’t shut the door on a return. More recently, Rockhold admitted he’s got the itch to step back inside the Octagon but made no promises.