Luke Rockhold responds to callout from Jimi Manuwa

Luke Rockhold
Image: @Lukerockhold on Instagram

Luke Rockhold doesn’t seem particularly enthused about a potential fight with British knockout artist Jimi Manuwa.

Rockhold has not fought since a 2019 knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz, but recently divulged that he’s getting the “itch” to fight again.

“”Here we are now,” Rockhold told MMA UK. “I’m getting healthier and I might be getting an itch. We’ll see.”

Shortly thereafter, he was called out by ostensibly retired light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa.

“Luke?” Manuwa wrote on Twitter.

Unfortunately for Manuwa, it doesn’t sound as though Rockhold is interested in this matchup. The former middleweight champ responded to Manuwa’s callout on a recent episode of Submission Radio.

“I didn’t see [his callout],” Rockhold said. “What does Jimi Manuwa do for me? What has Jimi Manuwa done? That’s not very exciting.”

While Rockhold doesn’t consider a fight with Manuwa exciting, he is interested in middleweight fights with Chris Weidman, who he’s beaten before, and Anderson Silva. The fight with Silva, he said, is probably the more appealing of the two.

“I’m not huge on retracing my footsteps, let’s say that,” he said when asked if he’d rather fight Weidman or Silva. “You know, sometimes it’s exciting to do that – I mean, rarely it is – but I like to pave a new path everywhere I go for the most part, and that should answer your question.

“I remember back in the day he had mentioned [a fight with Silva], and the UFC wasn’t ready to put it together,” Rockhold added. “And then I took that loss to Vitor [Belfort], so that got delayed and Weidman beat me to the punch. And then I got into a position where I called him and he didn’t want it. So, maybe the time’s right. You never know. We will see. Like I said, I gotta do me first.”

Rockhold also addressed a potential matchup with top light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith, with whom he swapped some virulent trash talk in the past.

“I never really understood this guy and, you know, it’s funny to see how much I got to him, and I’m always a man to back up what I say,” he said. “So, you never know.”

“I put my ass on the line anywhere at any time, so we’ll see. We’ll see how it plays out.”

If Luke Rockhold returns to the cage, who do you want to see him fight?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/29/2020.