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UFC Fight Night 55: Luke Rockhold details near-drowning surfing incident

One that hasn't stopped the former Strikeforce middleweight champion from catching a wave or two, any chance he gets.

Matt King

Aside from being good at this fighting thing, former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, is also a very gifted surfer, as well.

Living in California only adds to Luke's love of the sport, as there isn't a shortage of beaches in the state for Luke to catch a wave or two, and hang ten.

And though both surfing and mixed martial arts (MMA) have their fare share of dangers involved, Rockhold says the level of anxiety you get when you jump into the ocean exceeds the nerves you have when stepping into the Octagon.

Because as he tells MMA Kanvas, getting tossed around the Octagon doesn't compare to getting tossed underwater helplessly by unforgiving waves.

"Getting trapped under water and feeling that sensation of almost drowning, while getting tossed around... that's not a good feeling. That's a scary situation. 100 percent, I'm not scared in the Octagon. There's a little anxiety, but in the ocean, you have no control out there. In a fight I don't get scared, I might get a little anxiety and a bit nervous, but in the's a no brainer right there."

Rockhold went on to share a time when he almost got caught underwater a bit too long.

"I was thrown around and (got) stuck under a rock. My leash got caught and I couldn't go out the other way so I had to calm myself down and pull myself back out. I was (forced to) crawl my way backwards out from under this rock, not knowing what was going on. My buddies were freaking out because they saw me go over the falls, watched my board just bobbing up and down for a while. When I finally popped up, there were four or five of them staring back at me. I've been surfing for a long time, a lot of my friends are professional surfers, and I may get a little more waves than I used to (laughs), but I'm not trying to use my career to get waves all the time... well maybe just a little bit (laughs)."

And after Rockhold takes care of his business with Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 55 -- which goes down this Friday, Nov. 8, 2015 in Sidney, Australia -- he plans on taking advantage of the beautiful beaches the land "Down Under" has to offer.

Of course, "The Count" plans on taking the former Strikeforce champ into deep waters and drowning him once they step foot inside the eight-walled cage.

A few waves couldn't do it ... can Bisping?

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