Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold has urged the promotion to offer him an exciting opponent for a comeback fight before the close of this year, or just “f*ck off and let me (him) go” — following a recent attempted pairing at 185lbs against Khamzat Chimaev fell to the wayside.
Rockhold, a former undisputed middleweight champion under the UFC and the now-defunct Strikeforce banner had planned an Octagon outing for the first time since July of 2019 to take place before the end of this summer, however, a bout has yet to be penned.
The Californian was linked to a matchup on August 7. and August 28. against the surging, undefeated finisher, Chimaev, however, the AllStars MMA mainstay is set to continue his Octagon career a division lower at welterweight and has since been booked to meet with surging, Li Jingliang at UFC 267.
“They (the UFC) threw (Khamzat) Chimaev at me just out of nowhere because I didn’t see it coming,” Rockhold told MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck recently. “I didn’t really think about it and I was like, ‘F*ck. I’m a little interested in this.’ The kid has been talking up a game, claiming he can beat anybody and everybody at any time and I’d like to take the hype. I heard good things from the inside, too. I heard the kid is real tough. Sot let’s see. Let’s see what it’s all about, I love that, (I love) taking (hype), or he could prove himself right.“
“They offered me a date, offered me August 7th. and I was a little pressed for time and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s f*ckin’ do it,’ and then they wanted to push it back to a main event on August 28th. and then I got really excited. I was like, ‘F*ck, let’s go, 100%.’ I thought it was done because they kep giving me multiple dates and then he (Chimaev) just went silent and I guess he wants to stay at 170(lbs), something like that.“
Rockhold, who recently recovered from a torn labrum and rotator cuff explained how the promotion needs to come forward with an interesting and exciting opponent, or they should just let him leave the organization.
“I ain’t gonna take anything that doesn’t excite me,” Rockhold explained. “I’m not just gonna step up and fight someboyd that doesn’t excite me or doesn’t excite my fans. There’s no point. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been a Strikeforce champ, I’ve been UFC world champ, I don’t need to come back and fight some bum that doesn’t f*cking get me excited. I’d rather just not come back. If you want me to fight, give me something that excites me. Give me something that excites my fans, my people, and all of us. Otherwise, f*ck off an let me go because I ain’t gonna do that.“
“I just want something that’s fun,” Rockhold continued. “If it’s someone outside of the top-10, it’s got to be f*ckin’ something that gives me some interest, somebody who’s got f*ckin’ personality, some hype, someone that gets me out of f*ckin’ bed. I’m not gonna wake up for some f*ckin’ chump that doesn’t do anything for me, get out of bed and work my ass off.“
The 36-year-old Santa Cruz native last featured at UFC 239 in July of 2019 — where he made his light heavyweight divisional bow against now-champion, Jan Blachowicz where he suffered a broken jaw via a massive second round knockout. The defeat came as Rockhold’s second consecutively.
The former Strikeforce champion has been plying his trade with Jason Parillo at RVCA recently, with footage alongside former middleweight champion and two-fight rival, Michael Bisping emerging recently.
Across his professional career, the 16-5 Rockhold has lodged notable career triumphs against the likes of Jacare Souza, Keith Jardine, Tim Kennedy, Costas Philippou, the aforenoted, Bisping, Lyoto Machida, Chris Weidman, and David Branch.