Luke Rockhold signs with Karate Combat, set to debut against Bellator veteran Joe Schilling

By Cole Shelton - March 27, 2024

Luke Rockhold has signed with Karate Combat and he has his debut set.

Luke Rockhold and Joe Schilling

The former UFC middleweight champion has been a free agent for over a year and has now signed with Karate Combat, he announced on his social media. Rockhold will make his promotional debut at Karate Combat 45 on April 20 in Dubai against longtime Bellator veteran, Joe Schilling.

It’s unclear the type of contract Rockhold signed with Karate Combat but before his BKFC debut against Mike Perry he told he was only interested in signing one-fight deals.

“Whatever I want. That’s the beauty of being your own promotion. That is where I’m going to stay from now on. No more contracts, just one-fight, prove your worth. That is what fighting is,” Rockhold said.

The announcement also comes after it was announced that Rockhold is currently coaching an Ultimate Fighter-style reality show opposite Tyron Woodley for Hardcore FC.

Luke Rockhold (16-6 MMA) last competed in MMA back in 2022 when he dropped a decision to Paulo Costa. His last time competing was in BKFC in 2023 when he suffered a TKO loss to Mike Perry. He ended his MMA career on a three-fight losing skid as he also lost to Jan Blachowicz by KO and Yoel Romero by KO.

Rockhold won the UFC middleweight title in 2015 when he scored a TKO win over Chris Weidman, but lost the belt by KO to Michael Bisping the very next fight. He’s also the former Strikeforce middleweight champion.

Joe Schilling (4-6 MMA) is a six-fight Bellator veteran going 3-3 in the promotion and did beat Melvin Manhoef. He also lost to Tony Ferguson in 2008 by submission. Schilling is more known for his kickboxing career as he’s the former Glory middleweight tournament champion. In his kickboxing career, he holds notable wins over Chidi Njokuani, Simon Marcus, and Jason Wilnis among others.