Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold lost a decision to Nick Rodriguez in a no-gi catchweight grappling match at Polaris 12.
The bout took place Saturday at International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, Wales, and was streamed live on Fight Pass. Rockhold and Rodriguez grappled at a 230lbs catchweight in what was Rockhold’s first taste of competition since he was knocked out by Jan Blachowicz in the Octagon at UFC 239 earlier this summer.
Rockhold decided he wanted to test his grappling chops against Rodriguez, who is one of the top prospects in the world of no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It didn’t go his way, as the former UFC middleweight champion dropped a decision, though the fact he was able to make it the distance is a small victory in itself against such a talented opponent in Rodriguez.
Rockhold suffered a cut in the early goings of the contest after a clash of heads, but he refused to let the match be stopped by officials. In the broadcast, Rockhold can be heard yelling, “Someone get me some f***ing vaseline!”(via Fight Pass).
The bout continued, though Rockhold’s cut became a problem later on. He was still able to go the full distance against Rodriguez, though Rockhold ultimately came up short in the goal to get his hand raised.
After the match, Rockhold spoke about his future in the UFC.
“Honestly, it’s just fun for me. Obviously, competition is a part of my life, and this kind of lightens it up, takes me away from all the political (expletive) that you deal with in the UFC. There’s a lot more to it. This is just fun, and it keeps that goal-orientated mindset,” Rockhold said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
For now, Rockhold says he has no plans to return to the Octagon anytime soon. But perhaps getting the taste of competition in this grappling match could reignite his fire to fight once again for the UFC.
Do you think Luke Rockhold will compete in MMA again or do you think he’s done for good?