Luke Rockhold teased a future appearance under the Karate Combat banner.
In August 2022, Rockhold endured a unanimous decision loss against Paulo Costa at UFC 278, extending his MMA losing streak to three fights. Shortly after coming up short in his latest UFC fight, the California native parted ways with the promotion, opening up several opportunities in the free agency market.
On April 29, Rockhold fought outside the UFC for the first time since 2012. Unfortunately for him, Mike Perry emerged victorious in their bare-knuckle boxing fight at BKFC 41. The former UFC middleweight champion now waits for the perfect opportunity to get back into the win column.
Rockhold recently made an appearance at Karate Combat 40, where he was a special guest and commentator. The 38-year-old spoke with Cageside Press and had this to say about continuing to test the free agency market:
“You get the best of all worlds. I can fight wherever I want. Whatever appeals to me the most is where I’m gonna go. The opponent, the stage, the situation, and, of course, the payday. This [Karate Combat] is looking good.”
Luke Rockhold discusses talks with Karate Combat President Adam Kovacs about joining the promotion
Karate Combat is quickly becoming a legitimate player for fighters looking to fight outside the UFC. As a result, there have been questions about whether or not Luke Rockhold will potentially use his striking skills to test himself inside the Pit.
During the same interview with Cageside Press, Rockhold was asked if he’s talked with Karate Combat President Adam Kovacs. The former UFC middleweight champion responded by saying:
“We talked. You never know. Talk is talk… Talk is talk, but I like to walk the walk. We’re talking, we’re not walking yet, but, maybe, we can get to run soon… I want to get a chance to really feel this whole thing out, see if it’s really a part of me, if I want to be a part of it.”
Rockhold’s last combat sports win was against David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116 in September 2017. Since then, he’s continued to show he has gas left in the tank through his grit, despite being unable to get his hand raised. Only time will tell what’s next for the California native.