Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold says that no one in the current UFC middleweight top-15 wants to have a fight against him.
Rockhold hasn’t fought since a KO loss to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 in July 2019. He has been dealing with injuries ever since then, including a shoulder injury, that has resulted in him having had an extended layoff. However, he has been back in the gym recently and has made it clear that he is hoping to return to the Octagon later this summer or sometime in the fall. And when he does return to the cage, Rockhold has made it clear that he desires a top-15 opponent in his return.
Speaking to Helen Yee, Rockhold said that he wants to fight a ranked opponent for his comeback fight, but thus far, everyone in the top-15 rankings has turned him down.
“There’s a lot of guys but none of them want to sign the contract. Everyone wants to run around. There’s guys that make sense. Uriah Hall was an option – he didn’t want that. Kevin Holland was an option – doesn’t seem like that was an option. (Darren) Till was thrown around, I think people jumped on that one. I’m not opposed to anyone, Paulo Costa, anybody in that range. I mean, the Italian kid (Marvin Vettori) jumped – he beat Kevin Holland and he got a title fight. I just don’t understand that. He beat a guy coming off a loss,” Rockhold said (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“A lot of these guys need to be proven, need to be tested and I’m pretty sure I came off a world title fight. I’ve been inactive but I needed the time off but there’s also injuries and everything I had to assess and then had to take care of. So it’s not exactly my choice but the time off has suited me well. I’ve healed all my issues and I’m ready to go. I just need a fight, an opponent, a contract.”
Who do you want to see Luke Rockhold fight in his return to the Octagon?