There have been plenty of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who have been fortunate enough to land several opportunities outside of fighting, thanks to their success inside the cage or simply due to their looks, charisma, or "it" factor.
Whether it’s Ronda Rousey breaking into Hollywood, Paige VanZant "Dancing with the Stars," or even Randy Couture and Georges St-Pierre getting into the movie business, there isn’t a shortage of combatants who have set themselves up nicely for life after (or during) fighting.
Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is the latest MMA star to realize some of those perks, as he recently revealed on The MMA Hour that he has plenty of big deals in the works in the fashion world.
"I’m doing well. I’m here (in New York) next week for fashion week. I‘ve got some big contracts that we are working up right now. I’m meeting some top brands and talking about some deals we can potentially jump into in that market, as far as modeling. I’m talking about getting paid. We’ll keep it under wraps. But we are talking top tier brands."
For Luke, while he is a fighter first, he says he can’t simply turn down other opportunities outside of the cage that are presented to him if it means more coin for his piggy bank.
"I’m a fighter at heart, but I am here to get paid. If there is more potential there, I will take it and we are talking big numbers. So I can laugh, let my body heal and wait until the time is right to come back when it makes sense."
When asked about a rumored fight between he and Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York, Rockhold didn’t confirm it, but did say he would consider all fight options if UFC makes it worth his while.
"There is potential in that. I feel like let’s make it worth my while," he said. "I have a good relationship with UFC, for sure. They are always going to try to, it’s business and they are going to try to make things to their advantage. They will try to take advantage of certain things and put you in a place and do what they can. It’s business and it’s how it is. But guess what? I got my own business on the side and I can stand my ground, too, and I can take some time off and make some money."
Luke -- who was last seen losing his 185-pound title to Michael Bisping via first-round knockout -- says he prefers to stay active with little time off in between fights and intends to fight soon, especially since he wants to get back to a championship fight.
That said, he is adamant UFC has to make it worth his while since he isn’t simply going to go out there and put his body on the line when he can make plenty of money in the fashion world.
With many new ventures at Luke’s disposal, he has a tough trek to navigate, as he says putting his body through the rigors of training and a fight now have to come with a nice payoff, especially if it means having to turn down other projects that have nothing to do with fighting.
Indeed, it seems more and more fighters (like this one and this one) are starting to follow Conor McGregor’s lead and are taking Nate Diaz’s advice when it comes to negotiating fight contracts. And who can blame them after seeing the kind of cheddar "Notorious" and the Stockton slugger are making.
Nevertheless, when it comes to booking Rockhold for a fight, UFC has to come correct.