Luke Rockhold was doing it for himself at UFC 278.
Many fighters who step into the UFC Octagon are fighting for something. Sometimes that motivation is glory, or to win a title, or for family, whatever the reason is they put themselves in dangerous situations to achieve their goals. For Luke Rockhold in his very last UFC fight ever, the motivation was proving it to himself.
Rockhold was away for the UFC for three years. During that time, the assumption was that he was retired and living his life.
However, about a year ago, Rockhold began to discuss another fight. He was linked to possible bouts with several different opponents, but none panned out. He finally found a suitable fight with Paulo Costa and the two met inside the cage on Aug. 20. The result was a bloody farewell for the former champion.
Luke Rockhold May Not Have Won His Last Fight But He Is Happy With His Performance
The co-main event of UFC 278 saw Costa eke out the victory over an exhausted Rockhold. The pair put on an amazing performance for the crowd and earned themselves a Fight of the Night bonus. Afterward, Rockhold announced his retirement after nine years in the UFC.
Although the fight was not the most technical, for Rockhold it proved that he still had it. Despite the criticism he may have taken after, he is glad he did it.
“I needed that fight. I needed that fight for myself. I guess the world needed that fight, so it just happened to be the way it be. I’m happy with myself,” Rockhold told MMA Fighting. “I proved to myself that I’m still better. I’m the best, after all these years, coming back, with that percentage of me, and to still do what I did; I’m better. I’m better than that. I’m good. I’m good with it all. F-ck yeah (I’m at peace with it). I did it.”
Rockhold has not spoken much about what his future will look like without fighting but he has notoriously had plenty of other financial means. He has been a successful model in the past and may continue on that route going forward.
What did you think of the fight between Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa?