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Free fight! Watch Luke Rockhold dismantle Lyoto Machida at UFC on FOX 15

When Luke Rockhold was KTFO in a “spectacular fucking victory” by TRT-tor at UFC on FX 8 in May of 2013, he picked himself up off the canvas and made a promise to come back.

And boy, he came back angry.

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion went on a hellacious five-fight win streak in which he violently finished all five opponents. That includes ex-light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who was positively dismantled by his larger foe and forced to cry uncle at UFC on FOX 15.

It was violent.

After failing to take Michael Bisping seriously roughly a year later — probably based on this — Rockhold coughed up his crown, but now has a chance to get it back. The first step on that journey is turning away Yoel Romero at UFC 221 this weekend in Perth, Australia.

That might require him to get even “darker” than the “Soldier of God,” but when you look at Rockhold, who is seven years younger, has a three-inch height and four-inch reach advantage, it’s hard to doubt he has a legitimate shot at returning to the top.

We’ll find out in just a few days.