When Luke Rockhold was forced to withdraw from his fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 230, it marked the cancellation of an anticipated rematch from 2015.
It also marked the point where Rockhold had taken too many injuries — to his leg, his knee, his nose — in training to continue preparation.
“Man, I didn’t want to accept this fight going away. I wanted every fuckin’ inch of it,” Rockhold said, speaking with Submission Radio. “So, I tried everything I could, but unfortunately it’s just too much to work around. I gotta be able to walk into Madison Square Garden, I can’t crawl.”
According to Rockhold, there were three issues that left him unable to compete. Firstly, a knee surgery gone wrong, secondly a broken nose, and thirdly a sprained knee meant the former champion couldn’t see a scenario in which he could hit the Octagon confidently.
“The leg injury has been a fucking nightmare—a complete nightmare. It was a misinformed surgery. Unfortunately, I was misguided by a couple of doctors, and I wouldn’t say malpractice, but it was a pretty idiotic move to open me up on the blade of my shin where they did, and everything I learned thus far. It seemed like a superficial surgery, and that’s why I went ahead with it. And sure enough it’s been one of the worst things that I’ve ever dealt with in my life. So, I really can’t make any contact with it. It’s on the blade of my shin and it’s such a… like, I was in jeopardy of so many things with this leg and its repercussions if I were to go out there and this thing opened up and an infection got into the bone,” Rockhold said.
“It’s just not worth it. I didn’t kick. The whole camp I didn’t use my left leg to kick. And so unfortunately after Vegas I got an infection on my way back home. And then as I thought the leg was doing better and it would be ready to go, it backtracked and opened up and then it was in jeopardy again. It was red, it was inflamed and it was dangerous, cause the skin has to build up.
“I’m trying to heal that up. And, you know, I broke my nose in a grappling exchange. I got caught with a wild elbow,” He continued. “And so I was working around both of those, man. It was just too many things. And then on top of that, you know, I’m switching my stance to work with that and sparring with a cage around my face, and ended up spraining my knee, trying to force that,” he said.
“So I think it was a sign in the end that I have to… I wanted to work around every angle I could, but this is, that was it. That was the last straw. And the coaches have been trying to push me out of this fight for some time, and come the sprained knee, it was a sign. I don’t think it’s much of anything. It’s gonna be two to three weeks for the knee, but everything else needs significant time to heal.”