Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is not a fan of the promotion’s recent association with a popular online group.
In the past few months, YouTube group the Nelk Boys — or the “degenerates,” as they’re known in the Rockhold household — consisting of Kyle Forgeard, SteveWillDoIt, Jesse Sebastiani, Lucas Gasparini, and Salim The Dream, have had an increasing presence in the UFC.
What started as some event outings, which saw them provide the shoe in Tai Tuivasa’s ‘shoeys’ in 2021, has quickly grown into some appearances on the UFC YouTube channel, and even a contract-awarding role on an episode of Dana White Lookin’ For a Fight this past February.
While most acknowledge that the promotion is looking to tap into a certain market by forming a close relationship with the group, who boast just shy of 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube and a combined 4.9 million followers across Twitter and Instagram, one former UFC champion doesn’t back the partnership.
Rockhold: UFC x Full Send Is the “Dumbest Thing Ever”
During a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, which came ahead of Rockhold’s return fight versus Paulo Costa this weekend at UFC 278, the 37-year-old Californian made his thoughts on the Nelk presence in the MMA leader clear.
“The world’s going to sh*t. Incorporating Full Send into the UFC is just the dumbest thing ever,” Rockhold said. “I see these guys around here and I’m like, ‘Why the f*ck are these degenerate kids a part of our f*cking company?’ Why is Dana White — because he’s trying to bite into popular culture? Popular culture is going down the drain and it’s bringing the whole world down the drain. People just need to wake up.”
Having been an extremely vocal critic of the UFC’s fighter pay structure and, in particular, the lack of increase in post-fight bonus sums in line with the revenue rise, Rockhold’s grievances with the Nelk Boys’ connection with the UFC certainly wouldn’t have been helped by the recent birthday of one of its members.
Last month, Kyle Forgeard uploaded a video on Twitter that showed UFC President Dana White gifting him $250,000. The decision was met with widespread criticism from many fans, fighters, and pundits, to which White said, “F*ck yourself.”
What do you make of Luke Rockhold’s take on the UFC’s association with the Nelk Boys?