Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been absent from the Octagon for over a year now following his 1st round KO loss at the hands of Michael Bisping at UFC 196, where he lost the UFC middleweight title.
After recovering from an injury that forced him out of his UFC Melbourne scrap with Jacare Souza, Rockhold all signs pointed to the former champ fighting Gegard Mousasi in a pivotal middleweight fight, however Mousasi went on to sign with Bellator MMA.
Now, Rockhold is back training and ready to fight, but is left without an opponent. He spoke to Submission Radio to discuss the situation:
“I’VE BEEN WANTING TO FIGHT MYSELF FOR SOME TIME, I JUST GET DELAYED, WEEK AFTER WEEK, MONTH AFTER MONTH AND I’M PRETTY SICK OF IT. THE DIVISION, IT’S HARD TO FIND SOMEBODY THAT WANTS TO FIGHT THESE DAYS, AND SO THAT’S RELEVANT I GUESS TO SOME EXTENT, AND SO NOW I THINK I’M FINALLY ZEROED IN AND I’M GONNA MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN HERE SHORTLY. YOU KNOW, BACK IN, FIRST IT WAS JUNE, IT WAS ANDERSON. THEY OFFERED THE FIGHT, I ACCEPTED THE FIGHT, THEY TRIED TO MAKE THE FIGHT. IT WAS A SHORT-NOTICE FIGHT, IT WAS ABOUT FIVE WEEKS FOR ME AND I WAS DEFINITELY NOT IN SHAPE BUT I WAS WILLING TO GO TO BRAZIL AND GET IT DONE, AND ANDERSON, YOU KNOW, COPPED OUT OF THAT ONE. AND THEN THEY SWITCHED THEIR GEARS TOWARDS GEGARD MOUSASI. I WAS READY TO MAKE THE FIGHT HAPPEN JULY 8TH BUT IT WASN’T – THEY WERE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT ANDERSON AND GEGARD BOTH FOR JULY 8TH AND 29TH AND GEGARD OBVIOUSLY WENT IN HIS DIRECTION. I DON’T KNOW HIS THOUGHTS BUT ANDERSON DIDN’T WANT TO FIGHT AND SO I DON’T KNOW. I’M JUST LEFT IN THE WIND AND I’M PRETTY SICK OF IT. I NEED A FIGHT.”
FOR LUKE ANYONE IN THE TOP TEN WILL DO AS HE’S SICK OF WAITING “I’M NOT REALLY HAPPY TO WAIT ANYMORE, SO WE’LL SEE. WE’LL SEE. THERE’S PROBABLY A FEW GUYS AND WE MIGHT JUST HAVE TO SETTLE AND MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN. SO WE ARE TALKING, WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF IT, IN THE HEAT OF IT ALL RIGHT NOW. SO WE’LL SEE. WE’LL SEE WHAT COMES TO SURFACE, BUT SOMETHING WILL ARISE HERE SHORTLY.”
Rockhold of course is likely going to be paying very close attention to this weekend’s main event scrap between Kelvin Gastelum and Chris Weidman, which could potentially produce his next opponent.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/21/2017.