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Luke Rockhold inspired by ‘f—king gangster’ Israel Adesanya, ‘might still go back’ to UFC

BOXING: APR 04 BKFC 41 Press Conference Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Luke Rockhold will show off a new side of himself at BKFC 41 next weekend (Sat., April 29, 2023) in Denver, Colorado.

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion requested his release and was granted it in Jan. 2023. Rockhold had seemingly begun having problems with the business side of things pertaining to his position in UFC and wanted to see what options awaited him as a free agent.

Motivation and rekindling the fighting spirit has been a constant battle of its own for Rockhold since dropping the title in June 2016. Still keeping up with mixed martial arts (MMA) and his weight class, in particular, Rockhold has nothing bad to say about the now-two-time titleholder, Israel Adesanya, after his recent big second-round technical knockout (punches) victory over Alex Pereira (watch highlights).

“It was picture f—king perfect. Good for him,” Rockhold told Submission Radio. “Yeah, no doubt [it was inspiring]. I’m sure I inspired ‘Izzy’ when he was younger and he’s inspiring me now. You can draw inspiration through everybody. He’s a f—king gangster.”

Before he was granted his release from UFC, Rockhold remained interested and driven to get big fights with the likes of either Adesanya or Pereira. Now, he’ll have to get through his fellow former UFC fighter, Mike Perry, and see what awaits him. Despite some of the vitriol shared, a return to the Octagon is still a possibility in the eyes of the 38-year-old.

“Who knows if I’m gonna go back [to UFC] or not, I don’t know,” Rockhold said. “If it’s on my terms, I might still go back. You never know, but I’m gonna continue doing what I’m doing right now and I’m gonna keep knocking f—king peoples’ heads off and let my legs heal up and improve my hands. Make some f—king money.”

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