Luke Rockhold is having a hard time finding a suitable opponent for his upcoming return to the UFC.
Former UFC champion Luke Rockhold is getting ready for his return to the UFC. He has been out of competition since his last fight back in July 2019. He has taken some time off but is now looking to return to middleweight, the division where he won his UFC title and his home for the majority of his career. Rockhold recently spoke on the Real Quick With Mike Swick podcast about the difficulty he has had finding a suitable opponent for his return.
“It’s really about fighting someone’s who’s going to fight,” Rockhold told Mike Swick on the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast. “I need to fight a top 10 guy who’s ready to sack up and ready to fight. There’s already multiple people in the top 10 making excuses why they don’t want to fight me. Who the f***k are you to turn down a fight? Where’s your entitlement and what you think you have?
Before his hiatus, Rockhold made the move to light heavyweight and took on current champion Jan Balchowicz. Luke Rockhold explained that he is returning to middleweight and is even walking around at about 205 pounds right now. He was removed from the rankings when he took the time off but feels that he will reenter the top 10 with a win over a top-ten opponent.
“My last fight, it’s against Yoel Romero missing weight for a world title in Perth two and a half years ago. I’ve left the rankings, but I haven’t really left the rankings. I’m still there just as much as I want to be and everyone knows who I am and what I can do, and I think everyone’s just making excuses to why they don’t want to fight me right now. We’ve been hunting down the list and trying to find something credible, something fun, something exciting.”
Rockhold, who’s undergone multiple procedures including shoulder surgery in his time off, says he’s not willing to step in there with just anyone. Although he’s currently out of the UFC’s middleweight rankings due to inactivity, he thinks his resume speaks for itself and he wants to be able to pick up right where he left off when he was a contender at 185 pounds.
“I’m not just going to fight anybody,” Rockhold said. “It’s like I want something that gets me excited, gets the fans excited and has a little momentum – something that makes somewhat of sense. So I want to come back in and I want to do this thing right.
“I’m just here to prove to myself. I just know that I have a lot left to give. I know that I haven’t performed to my potential. There’s certain weights and things that have been on my shoulders. So I know if I can go out there, and I can be present and give it my all, then I can go out there and do things that no one has ever seen from me yet, and I can go out there and beat everybody in my path.”
No timeline for return was mentioned although this summer makes sense if a dance partner can be found. In the past, Rockhold has had some issues with Dana White but now it seems all is well and once a match is made, Rockhold will be back and at 36 years old, looking for one more run at UFC gold.