Luke Rockhold’s bareknuckle boxing debut at BKFC 41 in Broomfield, Colo., last night (Sat., April 29, 2023) did not go according to plan. After a solid first round, Rockhold stopped the fight halfway through the second round after his front teeth got punched in by Mike Perry (watch highlights here).
We didn’t hear anything from the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion after the bout, and questions swirled as to whether he’d continue fighting after this latest setback. He left UFC on a three-fight losing skid, and now he’s 0-1 in bareknuckle boxing.
But, in a new Instagram video posted to his social media account, Rockhold vowed to soldier on ... maybe not in BKFC, though.
“Well f—, what can I say?” Rockhold said, showing off the damage to his mouth. “You can check bareknuckle off the list. Some crazy s—. Those little knuckles got me ... square on the front two. Maybe a beard. Maybe a better mouthpiece. It was a good fight. It’s a shame it had to end that way. Motherf—er Mike, you tough bastard. Congrats.
“Thanks to my sponsors, thanks to the people,” Rockhold concluded. “I’m not done. Some gloves would be nice, though.”
Rockhold still has a lot of options in combat sports. He has a great relationship with Bellator President, Scott Coker, having been Strikeforce’s 185-pound champion during the last days of the promotion when Coker ran the show. And he’s expressed interest in other forms of martial arts like kickboxing and Muay Thai, so perhaps a go in ONE Championship is in his future. Japan is also on a checklist for the 38-year-old veteran.
Will he try his hand at bare-knuckle again?
His statement certainly sounds like he’s re-evaluating his interest in fighting without gloves. Rockhold earns a lot of money outside of fighting with his looks. He’s had very successful stints as a male model and had a very visible deal representing the Polo brand. Getting his teeth literally knocked in at BKFC may have made the decision to switch back to less brutal forms of fighting a bit easier for him.
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