Luke Rockhold is coming back to the UFC after some time away because he wants to be in charge of his own destiny.
Luke Rockhold has been out of the MMA game for a little bit. He took some time away but now he is back and ready to get back in the Octagon. Rockhold will be taking on Sean Strickland on the upcoming UFC 268 card in New York City. Rockhold, who has been publically critical of the UFC and their treatment of fighters, took the time to explain why he is choosing to come back now. Rockhold spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about this.
“I think a lot of reasons. Ending it on my own terms, I think, is a big deal for me,” Rockhold said. “I feel like I haven’t done myself justice the last couple fights. I don’t think I fought to my potential. I think I fought with a lot of weight on my shoulders and didn’t really perform to my liking. I’m getting older. And if there’s ever a time, it’s gonna be now. And I still feel like I’m the best in the game when I’m on. And I just gotta put the work in, get healthy, and get right.”
Rockhold had a successful UFC run from 2013 to 2015 and even won the middleweight title during that time. After losing the title to Michael Bisping, things took a turn for the worse. Rockhold went 1-3 to end his run in the UFC and despite a try at light heavyweight, decided it was best to take some time away. Rockhold is now back on track at middleweight and wants another run at the belt.
“Fighting is fighting,” Rockhold explained. “I’m under contract, and I just wanna fight, and I want a chance to get back my gold, and finish this bitch on my own terms. And so that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Rockhold recently made comments about how the UFC fighters should be standing up for themselves and how boxing pays more. Having made these comments, some may have been wondering why he chose to return. Having cleared up that he was still under contract seems to be why. Perhaps he will want to finish his contract and fight elsewhere, perhaps boxing.
Are you excited to see Luke Rockhold returning to the UFC after two years away?