Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold might not be done after all.
Rockhold, 38, stepped away from mixed martial arts soon after losing to Brazil’s Paulo Costa back in August in a fight which, while a very entertaining one, was his fourth defeat in his previous five fights after dropping bouts to Michael Bisping, Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz. His sole win in the past six years was a TKO victory against former World Series of Fighting (now known as the Professional Fighters League, or PFL) middleweight champion David Branch.
The American has battled a series of injuries in recent years which have vastly affected his ability to gain some momentum in the cage — but after leaving his gloves on the cage canvas following his defeat to Costa last year, Rockhold has suggested on Instagram that he may well be contemplating a comeback.
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“Putting the old rig to the test,” wrote Rockhold alongside an image of his wearing boxing gloves. “2023 could get interesting.”
The nature of Rockhold’s loss to Costa did show that he had the necessary technique to continue to prosper in the Octagon, but it was perhaps his cardio which let him down as he appeared to badly gas as the fight entered its final third. Nonetheless, Rockhold did test Costa’s chin with a series of crisp strikes and it would certainly be interesting to see an injury-free Rockhold make one last run at his natural weight of 185-pounds.
But if he remains away from the sport, no one can deny him his place in the history books: a former UFC middleweight champion, with impressive wins against the likes of prime Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping as well as being the first man to defeat Chris Weidman in professional competition.