Luke Rockhold was expected to fight Chris Weidman again at UFC 230 in New York, New York at Madison Square Garden. However, Rockhold had to pull out of the fight against Weidman with a leg injury. Ultimately, the former middleweight champion didn’t want to pull out, but he had to.
“The leg injury has been a f*cking nightmare, a complete nightmare. It was a misinformed surgery. Unfortunately, I was misguided by a couple of doctors, and I wouldn’t say malpractice, but it was a pretty idiotic move to open me up on the blade of my shin where they did, and everything I learned thus far,” said Rockhold to Submission Radio.
“It seemed like a superficial surgery, and that’s why I went ahead with it. And sure enough, it’s been one of the worst things that I’ve ever dealt with in my life. So, I really can’t make any contact with it. It’s on the blade of my shin and it’s such a…like, I was in jeopardy of so many things with this leg and its repercussions if I were to go out there and this thing opened up and an infection got into the bone.
“It’s just not worth it. I didn’t kick. The whole camp I didn’t use my left leg to kick. And so unfortunately after Vegas, I got an infection on my way back home,” added Rockhold. “And then as I thought the leg was doing better and it would be ready to go, it backtracked and opened up and then it was in jeopardy again. It was red, it was inflamed and it was dangerous, cause the skin has to build up.”
Not only was Rockhold dealing with a horrific leg injury, but in camp, he also suffered a broken nose and a sprained knee. No one comes out of training camp completely healthy, but with Rockhold barely being able to walk and now having a broken nose, pulling out from the fight made complete sense.
“I’m trying to heal that up. And, you know, I broke my nose in a grappling exchange. I got caught with a wild elbow. And so I was working around both of those, man. It was just too many things,” added Rockhold. “And then on top of that, you know, I’m switching my stance to work with that and sparring with a cage around my face and ended up spraining my knee, trying to force that.
“So I think it was a sign in the end that I have to… I wanted to work around every angle I could, but this is, that was it. That was the last straw. And the coaches have been trying to push me out of this fight for some time, and come the sprained knee, it was a sign. I don’t think it’s much of anything. It’s gonna be two to three weeks for the knee, but everything else needs significant time to heal.”
The hope for Rockhold is he can return to full health and fight again soon, whether that is at middleweight or possibly moving up to light heavyweight. Rockhold just hopes it is sooner rather than later.
“I think there’s a chance if something plays out, December 29th, it’s not a bad idea. And I know there’s a big card come the beginning of the year. There’s a big card I believe on ESPN or something like that back in New York. We’ll see. We’ll see how it all plays out,” Rockhold said. “But I’ll be on my game, I’ll be doing my thing and I’m not looking to take much time off. I’m trying to just get through this leg, and like I said, I gotta really let this thing heal. And when I know I can trust this thing and kick with it and train with it, then I can start a training camp and commit to a fight.”
When Rockhold returns, who would you like to see him fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/25/2018.