After a series of tough losses in the Octagon, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold took a step back from fighting — be he didn’t officially retire.
As it turns out, that distinction was deliberate.
Speaking to MMA UK recently, Rockhold explained that he didn’t want to retire and the un-retire months later if he felt like fighting again. We’ve seen many fighters do this over the years, and Rockhold was reluctant to fall into that category.
“That’s why I just kept my mouth shut,” Rockhold explained (h/t MMA Fighting). “People just do it to seek attention. I’m not trying to like make some big statement, make attention about it when I’m not sure about it.”
Rockhold then conceded that, now that his injuries are healing up, the itch to fight could be returning.
“Here we are now,” he said. “I’m getting healthier and I might be getting an itch. We’ll see.”
Rockhold last fought in the UFC light heavyweight division, suffering a nasty knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz. From the sounds of it, if he returns, he’ll probably do so at middleweight. He sees a lot of interesting options in the division, including his fellow former champ Anderson Silva.
“A lot of interesting choices,” Rockhold said. “If Anderson [Silva] is still interested and seemingly he is, maybe, you never know. [Chris] Weidman’s got a fight coming up. If something, he comes out of that well, you never know. There’s options.
“I’ve just got to get healthy. It’s getting healthy and getting everything right and just taking some time off. I’ve been pushing it so hard for 15 years in this sport. It’s nice to have a break, mentally it’s freeing. Get focused on some other things I can do and there’s a lot to maintain and keep up with.”
“We’ll see how the UFC and everyone comes out of this coronavirus epidemic because it’s going to bury a lot of companies,” Rockhold concluded. “I’m curious to see how these fights come to be.”
Do you want to see Luke Rockhold fight again?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/22/2020.