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Midnight Mania! Luke Rockhold reflects on ‘dirty and nasty’ UFC negotiations

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Luke Rockhold’s relationship with UFC and Dana White is complicated.

At one point, the former Strikeforce champion went on a tear to also capture the UFC Middleweight belt. That run was pretty extraordinary: Rockhold finished his opposition left and right to secure the strap. It ended just as explosively when Mike Bisping shocked the world via a left hook to the jawline, ending Rockhold’s title reign early.

After losing his title, Rockhold’s activity dropped off. He fought just four times in the next six years, including his retirement bout opposite Paulo Costa back in August. While speaking to MMA Junkie Radio, Rockhold reflected on his disputes with UFC and how they affected his career.

“It definitely felt good to get that respect I felt I always deserved, but I guess you’ve got to get dirty and nasty sometimes to show people who the f—k you are,” Rockhold said. “People want to assume I’m this, people want to assume I’m that. I’m sure the Polo (modeling) deal didn’t help – people just hated me even more. But that was the thing with Dana in the first place. He disrespected me when I lost the title and said, ‘You ain’t s—t. You weren’t this, you weren’t that.’ I’m like, ‘F—k you, dude. I’ll go make my money elsewhere.’

“He’s like, ‘F—k, fine, go do it,’ and guess what? I became the face of Polo Ralph Lauren, I had a worldwide commercial, I had (my face in) every airport in the world, and then Dana and the UFC were like, ‘Oh, can we give you this? Can we give you that?’ I did it so I could have leverage and respect. That’s why I did that. That was the whole point of that situation, and I got some back. But then I got a lot of disrespect from it because the whole world is just naive and they paint the picture for what they want the world to believe.”

At the moment, Rockhold remains retired and recently went under the knife for an ankle injury. However, MMA retirements don’t always last, and Rockhold’s recently posted clip of him cracking mitts shows the ex-champ looking sharp!

Maybe there’s still a chance of a comeback?


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