Luke Rockhold blasts UFC roster full of ‘yes men,’ praises Francis Ngannou for walking away

Luke Rockhold has some new words for his former employer, this time putting the rest of the roster on blast.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 5 months ago
Luke Rockhold blasts UFC roster full of ‘yes men,’ praises Francis Ngannou for walking away
Luke Rockhold blasts the entire UFC roster. IMAGO | Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire

Luke Rockhold is once again speaking loudly against his former employers in the UFC. This time, the former middleweight champion put the entire roster on blast, blaming the fighters for enabling the company to carry on with its perceived unjust practices. 

Luke Rockhold says fighters are “enslaved” by the UFC

When Rockhold officially signed with BKFC in March, he also celebrated his freedom from his UFC contract. 

“It’s amazing the freedom that they give,” Rockhold said, referring to BKFC. “You can actually do your own f—ng thing, live your own life. Not be a f—ng slave. I’m done being a f—ng slave, and I’m excited to be partnered with bare-knuckle and do this thing right.”

He used that same narrative in his recent guesting on MMA Fighting’s Fighter vs. Writer podcast. 

“If you’re at the top of the game, you should be able to pick where you work together with a promoter to find the opponent, to find the paycheck that you want, that makes you happy, that makes you want to fight. Then you’re going to get the best fighters, the best fight from that fighter. 

“That’s what fighting is. Not being f–ng enslaved to a company and fighting on their terms, who they want, for what they want. F–k that. 

“I’m thankful for [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter Campbell letting me go and doing my thing, but the structure, it’s not the best.”

Luke Rockhold praises Francis Ngannou

Rockhold used former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou as an example of what he feels should be the practice for fighters. After a long stand-off with the company because of contract issues, “The Predator” decided to leave the UFC in early 2023

For Luke Rockhold, Ngannou deserves all the props for standing his ground. He also believes the UFC roster of “yes men” should follow suit. 

“I’m f–ng stoked for Francis. Francis, he’s a real man with f–ng balls and he can make a decision. There’s too many yes men in the world. The UFC is where it is today because all those motherf–rs are yes men, and they’re just playing their game so the UFC is going to keep playing their game and keep controlling the fighters.

“If there wasn’t as many yes men, if there were more Francis Ngannous and Luke Rockholds and people that had a f–ng pair of balls, we’d have an even f–ng playing field, but there’s too many b–s in the world.”

Rockhold prepares for his bare-knuckle boxing debut

Luke Rockhold (16-6 in MMA), who turns 39 this year, will make his bare-knuckle boxing debut this weekend as the headliner of BKFC 41 in Colorado against fellow UFC veteran Mike Perry. He last fought at UFC 278 last August against Paulo Costa and lost via decision, prompting him to announce his retirement

Co-headlining the event is another bout between UFC alums Eddie Alvarez and Chad Mendes.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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