Luke Rockhold’s modeling contract surprised many in the MMA community except for his teammates and coaches at American Kickboxing Academy.
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez spoke exclusively to BJPenn.com on Thursday and discussed his teammate’s reactions to Rockhold’s recently signed modeling contract and budding career as a male model.
“No one was surprised. Everyone knows how good looking Luke is,” Mendez told BJPenn.com. “Everyone (at AKA) joke around and say ‘make sure you get your girl outta there before Luke shows up and gets her’.”
“Luke is more about fighting than about modeling, as far as careers go. But if he can make the kind of money (the modeling agency) offered him, then we’re happy for him.”
While Rockhold says he recently declined a fight agreement, his head coach at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose is confident that UFC fans haven’t seen the last of Luke Rockhold.
“He did say he wants to fight, but that the fight has to make sense for him,” Mendez said. “Like Nate Diaz said after the Conor rematch, he wants to get paid.”
“I don’t think (Luke) aspired to be a model, the opportunity just seemed to fall on his lap. Hershel Walker was actually the first one to be a successful athlete and a model, so Hershel kind of paved the way for guys like Luke (to explore dual careers in modeling and professional sports).”
Rockhold just had his first photo released as a professional model earlier this week, and there hasn’t been any updates regarding his return to the Octagon.