Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold has been outspoken regarding his discontent for the middleweight title picture. Being an active part of that picture since his debut in the UFC back in 2013. Rockhold was coming off of an electric run in Strikeforce with nine wins, three of which were for the title.
Rockhold’s debut in the UFC was a memorable loss to Vitor Belfort but four straight finishes including two and three performance bonuses later and Rockhold challenged for, and won, the UFC middleweight title.
That reign was cut down earlier than most expected as Michael Bisping avenged his loss to Rockhold, knocking the then-champion unconscious in the first round.
Since then, the middleweight title picture has ben a confusing series of decisions that have produced highs and lows with Michael Bisping recently losing the belt to former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. GSP was returning after four years outside of the cage.
During Bisping’s notable title reign, an interim champ was crowned in Robert Whittaker. One can see how a potential title shot may be a hard goal to attain amidst the constant commotion.
Rockhold did notch a win in the UFC since his title loss against David Branch, but his place in the UFC may not be secure. In a year of high-profile signings and fight cards (relative to past Bellator events), MMA’s #2 promotion may be looking to make Rockhold their newest middleweight. Rockhold posted a picture with former boss Scott Coker to his Instagram story of the pair on the golf course.
While catching up with a former boss isn’t exactly a wet signature on a contract, the move would be an interesting one as the UFC would be losing arguably the best fighter to have appeared for both promotions. Rockhold would be joining Gegard Mousasi as a recent UFC transfer. Either man would immediately be in a position to challenge Rafael Carvalho for the belt.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/24/2017.