Luke Rockhold may very well be done with mixed martial arts, but the former UFC middleweight champion isn’t ready to announce his retirement.
Rockhold has suffered back-to-back knockout losses in his last two fights and, speaking to MMA Fighting in a recent interview, the 35-year-old said that, right now, he’s happy to put his fighting career on hold to focus on other things.
“My head is content where I’m at right now,” Rockhold said. “I’ve done a lot of things in the sport. I’m not trying to be a headline maker. I’m not trying to say I’m going to retire and then want to come back. I don’t like to close doors on things in life.
“Right now, I’m just happy not fighting. It feels good to focus on other things.”
With a promising career in modeling and a couple of grappling matches on the horizon (Rockhold is scheduled take on Nick Rodriguez at Polaris 12 on Nov. 30), the MMA veteran has plenty of activities to keep him occupied outside of the cage — at least for the time being.
“Fighting takes a lot. I’ve done it, I’ve been to the top of the game. I just don’t have the same passion, the hunger for it at this point,” he said. “I’m excited to go in other realms of life. I know I have a lot of fans out there. I’m sorry I’m not fighting but you never know. Maybe someday I will but I don’t foresee it at this point.
“A couple grappling matches to keep myself entertained in the process, I think the people who tune in will have some fun watching. I’m going to bring it to this kid, and if I do another one, I’m sure it’s going to be fun and entertaining.”
After securing a professional modeling contract with top fashion brand Polo Ralph Lauren and undertaking a couple of acting roles, Rockhold is currently earning more than enough money to quit fighting altogether.
“I’m well off. I can choose what I want to do,” Rockhold said. “I’ve got a couple companies I’m working with, and I’ve got checks flowing from so many different ways. I’m not like the rest of these guys where I have to pursue and beat the thing into the ground with fighting or jiu-jitsu or anything. There’s other areas of life and I can put some energy and focus on those things.
“Obviously you can’t fight forever. I can make more money outside the cage so if I can do that, why not? Not have to deal with the political bullsh*t that comes with fighting and the UFC, all that stuff we know about. I like it. It makes me happy.”
If Rockhold does choose to retire, the Californian will be remembered as one of the greatest middleweights in the UFC. The American Kickboxing Academy product amassed a professional record of 16-5 and holds impressive victories over the likes of Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida and ‘Jacare’ Souza.
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