The loss was the second straight knockout loss by Rockhold. Going back to his title loss at UFC 199 to Michael Bisping, the former champion is just 1-3 in his last four fights. Rockhold seemed to lose a little passion for the sport, however, he now appears more focused than ever.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Rockhold said that he was targeting an early summer return to the UFC. He said that he didn’t have one particular opponent in mind, but he wanted something ‘sexy’ that would motivate him.
Currently, there have been some behind the scenes conversations at the UFC about Rockhold’s first opponent back. There are a couple of middleweight matchups to watch in April that could produce Rockhold’s first opponent back. Rockhold made it clear that he wants to get right into the mix at 185.
Who could the UFC pair him against?
When asked about his motivation to return, Rockhold said that he wouldn’t be coming back if he didn’t have the motivation to once again be UFC champion. With that in mind, what options are there for Rockhold to get him right back in the mix?
The most obvious choice is the winner of the Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall fight which takes place at UFC 261. Rockhold has history with Weidman and either him or Hall would make for an excellent fight for Rockhold. Whoever wins will definitely be in the top ten at middleweight.
Another option for Rockhold would be the winner of the Darren Till – Marvin Vettori fight or the winner of the Kevin Holland – Derek Brunson fight. There are a lot of big matchups coming up in the UFC’s middleweight division and Rockhold has his eyes on all of them. The division has arguably never been better and Luke Rockhold’s return makes it even better.