Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has left the door open for a return.
The 37-year-old returned to action last month at UFC 278 against Paulo Costa. The bout ended a three-year layoff for the former titleholder. Despite the time out of the cage, Rockhold didn’t miss a beat.
The two middleweights put on a fight for the ages in Salt Lake City. The Brazilian plodded forward and landed some hammers on the veteran. However, Rockhold returned some huge shots of his own, knocking down Costa at one point.
At the end of the three-round contest, ‘Borrachinha’ got the victory by unanimous decision. Following the defeat, Rockhold announced his retirement in an emotional post-fight speech. The fight, along with the former champion’s performance was praised.
UFC commentator Daniel Cormier likened Luke Rockhold’s final sendoff to a fairytale ending. However, it seems the former champion might not be done in the cage after all.
Luke Rockhold gave a career update in a video uploaded to Instagram. There, the 37-year-old explained that he wants to heal his body and that he truly wants to retire. However, another part of Rockhold is aware that he could return down the line, and that he’ll never truly shut the door on competing.
“Sometimes I struggle back and forth thinking how I want to approach this, but too many people hide behind their words, not how they really feel. But, I want to retire. I want to work on life like I did a f*cking fraction of on my break, but I want to get my f*cking body together, get my health together. Health is wealth, ultimately, and my body is f*cking deteriorating and a fight doesn’t help that.” (h/t MMAJunkie)
Luke Rockhold continued, “So, I want to get my body back, but I’ll never close the door [on MMA]. Once I get my health fully back, and I get my body where I want, and I start performing and not hurting myself, [then] maybe, maybe, maybe, I’ll make another run at this thing – one, two, three years down the line. I honestly feel like I’m only getting better. The way I’m treating my body and changing the game.”
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