UFC: Luke Rockhold Has Big Plans For His Comeback Fight
Between injuries and brutal defeats, Luke Rockhold’s last few years have been very rough, but he’s waiting for the right time to turn things around.
In 2018, Rockhold moved up to light heavyweight citing injuries he suffered as a result of cutting weight at middleweight. He faced Jan Blachowicz in his 205lbs debut at UFC 239, but was brutally knocked out in the second round and hasn’t fought since.
Rockhold, who is 1-3 in his last four fights, hopes to return to the Octagon this summer. In an interview with Submission Radio (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), the 38 year old said that his comeback fight would most likely be at middleweight, where he’s keeping an close eye on the top contenders.
“They’ve (the UFC) been reaching out, talking, just keeping tabs on my situation and letting me know that they’re interested,” Rockhold said. “As am I, when the time’s right, when something really kind of appeals to me, it’s sexy. I want to come back for something that gets me excited, and I want to come back when I’m ready, when my body’s ready. And I think early, late summer would be ideal. It’s just matching up with the right person and the right thing that’s going to put me to where I want. I’m not looking to just play around.
“I wanna go straight to the gut of this division and most likely 185 [pounds]. Not ruling out 205, but I really just gotta push my body to get in shape and see where it wants to go. Right now, I’m light. I’m like 205-208 [pounds] right now, and I think that legitimately it’s going to be looking like I’m going back to middleweight. But we will see. If something pops up, you never know. If a fight falls apart, like many injuries do and COVID and everything that happens, I could be ready sooner than later.”
Rockhold underwent shoulder surgery to repair a labrum tear and a rotator cuff last April, and spent most of his 2020 recovering from it. While he still doesn’t feel 100 percent, things are finally coming along for the former middleweight champion.
“The last few years, I’ve had a problem with my labrum and my rotator cuff,” Rockhold revealed. “It’s just been deteriorating, and I relied on my right hook, and my right shoulder has taken some damage. So, it’s not as sharp, and it was hard to keep my hand up and work. And just when I’m punching, I’m looping. I don’t have the stability and the strength to stay up, stay strong here. So, I decided to get the surgery in the middle of COVID, and it’s been a problem coming back from the surgery.
“And I’ve had questions of whether or not I’ll have to do another surgery, and it’s just not 100 percent there. Like, the elasticity in the ligament, I can’t really rely on it. I couldn’t rely on it. I’m starting to be able to now, finally, after lots of different treatments and PRP’s and everything I’ve been doing. So, it’s coming along. Finally coming along.”
“I’m Not Gonna Come Back Compromised”
The California native also stated that he’s fought ‘compromised’ in the past, but he won’t repeat the same mistake.
“If I’m gonna come back, I’m not gonna come back compromised,” Rockhold said. “I’ve done too much to go in there and fight compromised. If I’m healthy, If I know I’m healthy and I’m clear-headed when I‘m going out there, I can beat anybody. So, that’s what I’m waiting for, and that’s what I’m getting to right now.”
Meanwhile, Rockhold has put his bad blood with Michael Bisping behind him. ‘The Count’ and coach Jason Parillo both posted videos earlier today of the two former rivals sharing a few friendly moments at the RVCA Training Center in Southern California.
Who would you like to see Luke Rockhold compete against in his comeback fight?