This past weekend in the headliner of BKFC 41, we saw a big time middleweight matchup featuring the debut of a former UFC champion. Former UFC middleweight champ Luke Rockhold (0-1) was making his BKFC debut as he took on “Platinum” Mike Perry (3-0).
Entering the bout, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Rockhold. To be completely honest, Bare Knuckle is not something I ever saw the former UFC champion doing. Nevertheless, here we were and Rockhold was set to take on the tough Mike Perry.
Just looking at their skills, I liked Rockhold in this matchup despite the fact that he couldn’t use kicks. I like his reach and figured he could fight behind the jab and straight shots. However, if it turned into a brawl and a dog fight, we were heading into Mike Perry’s world.
That’s exactly what happened at BKFC 41. Rockhold did have success in the first round hurting Perry. However, Perry bit down on the mouthpiece and came right back landing a huge left straight which hurt Rockhold. In between rounds, Rockhold didn’t look comfortable at all.
The second round featured some back and forth with Perry once again landing straight shots. Eventually, Rockhold turned to the referee and showed off his teeth which were badly damaged. The fight was called off and Perry got the TKO win.
Rockhold done with BKFC?
Rockhold turned to Instagram after the fight and talked about his experience. His comments made it seem like BKFC would be a one and done kind of stop for him.
“Well, F***. What can I say? You can check Bare Knuckle off the list. It’s 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 that it had to end that way. Mike, you tough bastard. Congrats… I’m not done. Some gloves would be nice, though.”Luke Rockhold via Instagram
My guess is that Rockhold will move back to MMA following this effort in BKFC. I’ll give Rockhold credit, he was down to fight. I just don’t think the fit was ever there, but it was certainly admirable to watch him dive into that world.
If you ask me, I think the writing could be on the wall for Rockhold to head to Bellator. He has a good relationship with Scott Coker and I think that move would make all the sense in the world.