Sunday, October 2, 2022

Rockhold Names Three Moments That Stick Out From His Career

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has reflected on his career as a mixed martial artist following his retirement.

At UFC 278 on August 20, Rockhold returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2019. Having fallen to knockout defeats in three of his previous four outings, the Californian was on the hunt for a rebound, and even addressed a return to title contention ahead of the Utah-held event.

While those goals weren’t accomplished on the night, Rockhold did play his part in the Fight of the Night by giving fans some memorable moments inside the cage against Paulo Costa.

After suffering a defeat on the scorecards, the former Strikeforce and UFC titleholder announced his departure from MMA having added a farewell that was certainly an improvement on his loss to Jan Blachowicz three years ago.

Having turned the page on the MMA chapter of his life, Rockhold recently looked back on the most important moments of a career that saw him hold gold and defeat some of the best in the sport.

Rockhold Reflects On The Highs

During an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Rockhold was asked whether there’s one specific moment that stands out. After three came to mind, the 37-year-old listed them chronologically, starting with his Strikeforce crowning in 2011.

“The moments that define you as a man. I think those are the biggest moments. There’s three that really stick out for me,” Rockhold said. “(First,) my fight with Jacaré (Souza). That made me whole. That made me a man. That gave me relevance in life.”

Credit: Esther Lin / MMA Fighting

At the time, Rockhold was coming off a lengthy injury layoff, challenging for the belt that Souza had won from Tim Kennedy and defended against Robbie Lawler.

The Californian listed another crowning next, this time inside the famed Octagon, where he dethroned Chris Weidman in a memorable Fight of the Night clash at UFC 194 in 2015.

“Then the stage is the game. There’s always goals within goals. There was the fight with Weidman. Doing that and achieving that height,” Rockhold added.

Credit: John Locher/Associated Press

Finally, Rockhold named the moment that culminated an illustrious tenure inside the cage — his comeback performance against Costa this month, which the former champ highlighted as a crucial moment in his life and journey.

“And then coming back and doing this. Proving it to myself, where I needed to go (after) losing track of myself, letting society direct where I should (go) and what I should want, what I thought I want,” Rockhold noted. “Then having to come back down to reality and figure out what the f*ck I want… had to lose myself to come back.”

What’s your fondest memory from Luke Rockhold’s mixed martial arts career?

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