Sunday, June 26, 2022

Luke Rockhold Dismisses “No Chin” Narrative: “I Know I Can Take A Shot”

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold has dismissed the idea he has a weak chin that is now vulnerable and susceptible to knockouts.

For the past three years, Rockhold has been absent from the cage. That layoff was spurred by a rough run of form, which saw the Californian go 1-3 in his last four outings. All of those defeats, two at middleweight and one at light heavyweight, came via knockouts.

Having lost the title after being slept by the UK’s first UFC champion Michael Bisping, Rockhold’s initial rebound win against David Branch was followed by another vicious KO setback, this time against Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero.

His pursuit of a bounce-back win at 205 pounds didn’t go to plan either, as he ran into the “legendary Polish power” of then-future titleholder Jan Blachowicz.

With that in mind, not many have backed Rockhold for success since news of his desire to return hit the surface last year. Even middleweight contender Marvin Vettori recently provided a bleak assessment of Rockhold’s chances, suggesting that he’ll “lose the few brain cells” that he has left when he makes the walk to the Octagon again.

But despite his string of KO defeats, Rockhold is confident that his chin can hold up.

Rockhold: “No One’s Hurting Me”

During a recent appearance on The DC Check-In with his former AKA teammate Daniel Cormier, Rockhold discussed his upcoming comeback and addressed the narrative that he’s become susceptible to strikes.

Citing his recent training as evidence, the former middleweight titleholder insisted that he can still take and survive hard shots.

“I’ve been hit. I’ve been hit lately and I know I can take a shot still,” said Rockhold. “I’m not being hurt by any means, by anybody. No one’s hurting me. I feel good.”

Rockhold went on to address his past defeats, pointing out that two of his KO losses came against a couple of the most powerful men that the UFC has seen in Romero and Blachowicz. His championship loss to Bisping, meanwhile, Rockhold said simply came down to the perfect punch in the perfect place.

“I mean, yes, I lost to knockouts. Bisping I think it was more of a perfect spot, perfect time kinda thing,” said Rockhold. “David Branch, did I get hurt? I don’t think so, and I got hit with some big shots too. Yoel Romero, okay, Yoel Romero, one of the hardest-hitting guys in history. Jan Blachowicz, okay, one of the hardest-hitting guys in history.

“Yeah, alright, I went down [holds hands up], but I still know I can take a shot. And I know I can fight better than I have fought in the past. I’m willing to put it on the line,” added Rockhold. “Father Time is undefeated, and this is the last chance to chase my dreams… I’m willing to risk it all.”

It’s safe to say that Rockhold’s words will firmly be put to the test upon his return when he faces arguably the most powerful man at 185 pounds, Paulo Costa. After an initial booking for UFC 277 on July 30, the pair’s clash has seemingly been pushed back to August 20.

With 11 of his 13 victories coming by way of KOs, “Borrachinha” will likely put Rockhold’s chin under heavy pressure this summer. Should the veteran survive the Brazilian’s punches, it’ll be hard to argue with his latest remarks.

Do you think Luke Rockhold will be able to handle Paulo Costa’s power when he makes his return?

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