Rockhold held the 185-pound gold after defeating Chris Weidman back in 2015. But after being quickly dethroned by Michael Bisping, he subsequently went 1-2, with consecutive knockout losses to Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz.
While he’d hoped to return to middleweight contention this past August when he returned to action for the first time in over three years, the 38-year-old Californian fell to a defeat on the scorecards against Paulo Costa before announcing his retirement in the cage.
But this past weekend’s events at Madison Square Garden may have provided a re-think for the former Strikeforce titleholder.
In the UFC 281 main event, Alex Pereira shook up the division by stopping long-reigning champ Israel Adesanya in the final round. With that, Rockhold took to Twitter, simply writing, “I’ll be back.”
While the post doesn’t reveal much and the seriousness of it is impossible to tell, that hasn’t stopped some from suggesting that Rockhold has quickly reversed his decision to retire following the crowning of a new king.
But according to one middleweight contender, Rockhold should stay far, far away from the sport.
Strickland Urges ‘Chinless’ Rockhold To Go Away
During a recent interview with The Schmo, Strickland was asked for his take on the possibility of Rockhold further extending his career in mixed martial arts.
Suffice to say, “Tarzan” isn’t excited about the possibility of seeing Rockhold make the walk again. In fact, he firmly urged the veteran, who he described as ‘everything that’s wrong in the world’, to go away.
“Luke Rockhold’s such a (expletive)… Luke Rockhold, the moment that man banishes from MMA, it’s gonna be a better place,” Strickland said. “Luke Rockhold, the man has no f*cking chin, he’s a (expletive); I don’t wanna say — nah, delete that.
“Luke Rockhold is everything that is f*cking wrong with the world. That man, every day he probably looks in the mirror and jerks off to his reflection. Luke Rockhold, just f*cking banish,” Strickland added. “Go away, bro. No one wants to hear your sh*t. Move on.”
Strickland’s reaction is perhaps unsurprising given his history with Rockhold. The outspoken 185lber was initially slated to welcome the former champ back to the Octagon last November at UFC 268. That fight fell through after Rockhold suffered a herniated disc.
In the months that followed, the pair went back and forth in interviews, with Strickland suggesting he’d accept a misdemeanor charge just to be able to “smack” Rockhold.
What do you make of Sean Strickland’s remarks about Luke Rockhold?
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