Luke Rockhold has explained what he feels contributed to his fatigue in his UFC 278 loss to Paulo Costa.
The former middleweight champion gave it his all in the bout, ensuring a memorable final outing for his fans. One of the main contributing factors that was picked up on was Rockhold’s apparent lack of stamina, as he looked winded early on. As many later correctly guessed, the event’s location in Utah made things difficult.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Rockhold said:
“I think the altitude definitely played a factor. I think my preparation, I was just hitting walls in training, different injures, tearing cartilage with like, an oblique thing. We just tried to put it all out there and hit some roadblocks. I think the altitude definitely played in.”
Not taking anything away from his opponent’s efforts, He added:
I didn’t expect him to get the takedown and to break my nose in the first. One of those rabbit punches in the first round broke my nose. I was having to breathe out my mouth, and altitude, and struggling off the bottom, getting through the nerves of everything. I think once I got through that, everything just set in like, ‘F*ck, here we are. Time to fight.'”
Rockhold’s Last Ride?
The loss made it three in succession for Rockhold, who decided he was no longer willing to fight after the scores were rendered. The fight was the first time since 2012 that the AKA fighter had been the distance. It ended many feeling that Rockhold showed a new lease of life in the outing.
It was though, a far cry from the Luke Rockhold of old. The one who stopped Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman, and Lyoto Machida. His opponent though, “The Eraser,” did not manage to score the widely predicted knockout, but it was not for a lack of trying.
As well as a fight-of-the-night bonus, Rockhold got to go out with the knowledge that he can still hang with the very best.
Do you think retiring is the right decision for Rockhold?