- Luke Rockhold blasted the UFC for manipulating its fighters
- The former UFC middleweight champ thinks the current fighters in the promotion have no guts to stand for their rights
Luke Rockhold seems happy in his new home in BKFC. However, ahead of his bare-knuckle boxing debut against Mike Perry at BKFC 41, Rockhold still found the time to lash out at his former employer, the UFC for allegedly enslaving its fighters.
No fun in the UFC
According to Rockhold, the UFC is not the place for someone who wants to be the best in the sport as the company manipulates its fighters to its advantage. He also pointed out that even a champion like him never got to decide on what he wanted to do with his career.
“Being locked in with them, and what they were offering, and what was on the table, and having to work back through their ranks on their terms, I didn’t want to do that,” Rockhold said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “That’s not fun for me. I’ve already been there. I’ve been the UFC champion. I’ve been the Strikeforce champion. What’s f****** next?”
He continued, “I want new goals. I want new challenges. You never know. As long as my body’s going in the direction it’s going now, anything can happen. I could go back there as long as it was on my terms. But conquering another world right now is what I’m looking for. More mountains to climb, more things to do. This is what I’m f—king here for. I like fighting. Fighting f—king gives me life.”
“I was locked into a contract, many different contracts. It’s just one contract to the next, but there’s always long-term deals, and it’s not always the best energy, the best setting when you’re fighting [and] when you’re at odds with each other. You’re fighting on their terms and their paycheck. So being a free agent, it’s a different story. Being your own promotion. Being able to fight on your own terms and pick your paychecks, pick your fights. Like it should be, like the fight game is.”
The former UFC middleweight champion added that if anything, he is glad he had finally parted ways with the UFC.
“If you’re at the top of the game, you should be able to pick where you work together with a promoter to find the opponent, to find the paycheck that you want, that makes you happy, that makes you want to fight. Then you’re going to get the best fighters, the best fight from that fighter. That’s what fighting is. Not being f—king enslaved to a company and fighting on their terms, who they want, for what they want. F—k that. I’m thankful for [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter Campbell letting me go and doing my thing, but the structure, it’s not the best,” he exclaimed.
Stacked with “Yes Men”
The departure of former heavyweight Francis Ngannou is arguably the most controversial cut the UFC has pulled off as of late. Rockhold commends Ngannou’s guts to fight for his right as most of the current fighters in the UFC are just getting along without thinking.
“I’m f—king stoked for Francis. Francis, he’s a real man with f—king balls and he can make a decision. There’s too many yes men in the world. The UFC is where it is today because all those motherf—kers are yes men, and they’re just playing their game so the UFC is going to keep playing their game and keep controlling the fighters,” Rockhold stressed. “If there wasn’t as many yes men, if there were more Francis Ngannous and Luke Rockholds and people that had a f—king pair of balls, we’d have an even f—king playing field, but there’s too many b—ches in the world.”
Rockhold previously claimed that the UFC is also unfair in terms of salary and he is even making more money now at BKFC.
Rockhold last fought in the UFC at UFC 278 where he lost to Paulo Costa via decision. The defeat prompted him to retire which eventually resulted in cutting ties with the promotion.
All quotes via MMA Fighting.