Luke Rockhold open to UFC return to face “true champion” Israel Adesanya: “I think I present a lot of problems for Izzy”

By Cole Shelton - April 28, 2023

Luke Rockhold isn’t ruling out fighting for the UFC again.

Luke Rockhold

Rockhold came back last August at UFC 278 after three years away and suffered a decision loss to Paulo Costa. It was his third defeat in a row and after the loss, he said he was retiring from fighting. Yet, after some time thinking, he asked for and received his UFC release, and will now be fighting at BKFC 41 against Mike Perry.

Although Luke Rockhold is no longer a UFC fighter, he says he isn’t ruling out a return, but it won’t be on a long-term contract. Instead, he just wants the Israel Adesanya fight as he believes he presents a lot of challenges for the middleweight champion.

“I’m not opposed to it, on my terms, for sure,” Rockhold said on Just Scrap Radio on “I’ve always been intrigued by an Israel fight, I think he is awesome and an amazing fighter. I think I’m getting better and I can test him, my striking has gotten so much better over the years, and as long as I’m in shape and I get things, I think I present a lot of problems for Izzy.”

As of right now, it’s uncertain if the UFC would bring Luke Rockhold back, but he hopes he can face Israel Adesanya before his career is over.

Adesanya, meanwhile, is once again the middleweight champion after scoring a KO win over Alex Pereira at UFC 287. Rockhold says that fight showed Adesanya is a true champion but is confident he has what it takes to beat him.

“I thought it was insane. The mental ability to go in there after three losses and stay composed and do his thing,” Rockhold concluded. “He put everything into it and people say what they say but he took the shots, got compromised, and landed the blows. All the credit to Izzy, I have nothing but respect and I like watching the kid fight. He’s f*****g awesome, a true champion.”

Would you like to see Luke Rockhold vs. Israel Adesanya?

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