I know a lot of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans get frustrated when their favorite fighters, like former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, refuse to take a definitive stance on retiring. But I much prefer an indecisive take than a fighter who retires with a ton of fanfare — only to come back a short time later because bills have to be paid or egos have to be fed.
Fortunately for Luke Rockhold, he’s both financially secure and emotionally content after more than a decade in combat sports, which produced middleweight titles in both Strikeforce and UFC. While the part-time surfer struggled in the latter half of his career, including a failed trip up to light heavyweight, the future remains bright outside of fighting.
“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,” Rockhold told MMA Fighting. “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.”
Rockhold, who ended half of his MMA wins by way of submission — seven of them in the first round — will make his return to the grappling mats on Sat., Nov. 30, 2019 in Newport, Wales, in the Polaris 12 main event opposite jiu-jitsu wunderkind Nick Rodriguez.
“Obviously you can’t fight forever,” Rockhold said. “I can make more money outside the cage so if I can do that, why not? Not have to deal with the political bullshit that comes with fighting and the UFC, all that stuff we know about. I like it. It makes me happy.”
I’m sure it makes this guy happy too.