Rockhold has been teasing a UFC return for several months now. He last fought in the UFC back in July of 2019 when he lost to the current light heavyweight champion Jan Błachowicz. Before taking this time away, Rockhold had lost three of his last four, including losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping. In his comeback, Rockhold is looking to change the direction of his career, and for that, he might be willing to bring in some help in the form of a former training partner, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“He’s assuming this coaching role now,” Rockhold said in an interview with TMZ. “He’s like, ‘You can’t be the master. You can’t be the boss. I have to coach you.’ He’s going off on me, wanting to coach now. He wants to be a big part of my comeback. It’s pretty funny to see Khabib assume this role. He’s going for ‘Coach of the Year.’ That’s what he wants, he wants to be the next great thing and follow in his dad’s footsteps. That’s what his dad always did.”
The recently retire Nurmagomedov has been much more active in coaching. He has several family members and training partners that he was been working with. Nurmagomedov has ruled out any return to fighting and following in his father’s footsteps would be a great way to stay near the sport. As for Rockhold, he is targeting summer as a return. and is looking to make his way back to middleweight.
“I believe ’85 is my calling,” Rockhold said. “I’m about 205 pounds right now, and I’m just naturally there. It wasn’t really me to bulk up. I was lifting weights and doing my thing to get up to 205, and I could barely hold 215, 220 at best. I feel good. This is my championship weight. This is where I’ve done all my damage, and I like the route to victory, what’s ahead of me, so I’m ready to go.”
Would you like to see Khabib Nurmagomedov in the corner of Luke Rockhold when he returns?