Veteran boxing coach Jason Parillo said that middleweight Luke Rockhold is “one of the most gifted fighters that’s ever entered the UFC.”
The former UFC middleweight champion is geared to make a comeback to the Octagon after taking two years off following a brutal KO loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. Since then, Rockhold has been dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him on the shelf. But now that he’s starting to feel better, we have seen Rockhold in the RVCA in Costa Mesa, California, training under the tutelage of Parillo and alongside his former rival Michael Bisping. The hope is that Rockhold will be able to make a comeback this summer at 185lbs.
Speaking to RT Sport while Rockhold trains at his gym, Parillo praised the former champ as being an exceptionally gifted fighter, while also admitting that he needed more structure.
“I don’t know if I’ve sunk my teeth into Luke enough to have a different version of Luke Rockhold. Because Luke Rockhold’s still, in my opinion, not living up to his potential. And that’s been my biggest thing with Luke right now. He’s been in the gym now on and off for a couple of months, but he’s got a shoulder injury which makes it kind of tough. He’s not in a position where he can do everything he wants to do. But Luke is one of the most gifted fighters that’s ever entered the UFC. I’ll be honest with you. He’s got all the gifts in the world. I tell everybody that he’s one of the greatest athletes who ever stood in front of me. But there’s a guy that needs the right direction. The biggest trick with Luke is getting him to listen in the right direction. For me, that’s an obstacle,” Parillo said.
“What’s going to give Luke Rockhold success to make a proper comeback is to be properly hungry, and I’m waiting to see if that appetite’s still there.”
Do you think Jason Parillo can get Luke Rockhold back to being his old self in the Octagon?