Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold’s retirement might not last very long after a recent social media post.
Rockhold’s last UFC fight came at UFC 278, in a three-round war with former title challenger Paulo Costa. While he lost via a unanimous decision, he proved his grit and toughness despite a long hiatus leading up to fight night.
Rockhold opted to retire immediately following UFC 278 instead of attempting a quick turnaround in the Octagon. However, just weeks after leaving his gloves in the cage, he appeared to take the initial steps in walking back his decision.
Rockhold could return to fighting after getting back into peak physical condition. He’s teased a move to boxing, following in the footsteps of former UFC veterans Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort.
Although, Rockhold might not be done in MMA just yet.
Luke Rockhold: “2023 Could Get Interesting”
In a recent Instagram post, Rockhold teased a possible fighting return in the new year.
“Putting the old rig to the test,” Rockhold said. “2023 could get interesting.”
Rockhold and the UFC have had a complicated relationship over the years. Specifically, his relationship with UFC President Dana White became soured, although they appeared to turn the page following UFC 278.
Rockhold has been especially critical of the UFC’s pay structure and overall treatment of its fighters. He’s called for additional healthcare benefits for fighters, along with other incentives for both active and retired athletes.
Rockhold is arguably one of the most accomplished middleweights in the promotion’s history. He earned the title by defeating Chris Weidman at UFC 194, along with finishes of Lyoto Machida and Michael Bisping.
Despite being arguably past his physical prime at 38 years old, Rockhold remains intrigued by a combat sports return. Whether or not he returns to the UFC is uncertain, although he seems prepared for all options as the new year begins.