- Luke Rockhold revealed that he is now a free agent
- Rockhold is gearing up for a comeback and teased potential avenues he could take
Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been out of action since taking on Paulo Costa at UFC 278 last August. He had been on the sidelines for over three years prior to the bout. Costa worked his way to a unanimous decision victory after breaking Rockhold’s nose early in the first round, causing him to drop stamina significantly.
Following the loss, Rockhold announced that he would step away from professional competition. But it looks like the retirement won’t last long.
Luke Rockhold is now a free agent
In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Luke Rockhold revealed that he was out of his UFC contract and exploring free agency.
“I’m a free agent. Free and clear and I’m ready. Re-inspired to go out there and do something new. You need something that inspires you. You need a new setting. I need a new challenge. Where I was and trying to find somebody that gets me up, motivated, and really gets me going. You get burned out in the game when you’ve done so much. I need new obstacles.
“Coming back in the fight game was a long way, dealing with injuries and just getting back in there was a lot. Since then, I’ve found that inspiration, and reinvigorated my interest in fighting and my abilities. I feel like I’m getting better and finding my tempo. “
Luke Rockhold says he asked for his UFC release and is now a free agent 👀 #TheMMAHour
"Free and clear and I’m ready. Re-inspired to go out there and do something new."
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 23, 2023
Rockhold hinted at his next move
The 38-year-old Californian believes he would be welcome back at the UFC. However, he’s looking for new challenges and hinted at some of the options he would like to check out.
“The door [back to the UFC] is always open but I want to go f**k some people up. I want to go change and correct this bullsh*t that’s going on out there. There’s other companies, of course. There’s PFL. Peter Murray I think is a smart, sharp dude and they’re doing some cool things where the best fight the best. People are not jumping each other. This jumping all this bullsh*t. If you wanna do bullsh*t you can go box and beat up all these YouTubers too. There’s opportunities there. I’m just finding my rhythm in boxing and my legs could take a little break every once in a while. I would like to put some hands on some people and invest in some other fights.
“I’m good friends with Scott Coker and Bellator’s doing some big things. ONE Championship is doing cool things too. They are coming here to the States. They got grappling, boxing, everything. That’s what I want. I’ve done it so much I want the opportunity to go box, grapple, fight, win another belt. No man in history has won three major belts. That gets me excited.”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 23, 2023
Luke Rockhold recently called out internet sensation turned-boxer Jake Paul for a contest in the boxing ring. Considering his statements in the episode, it seems like a return to MMA may or may not be an option but it’s clear that he plans to make his comeback to combat sports.