UFC struggling to find a fight for Luke Rockhold

Luke Rockhold

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-5) is gearing up for his return to the octagon. Rockhold hasn’t competed since July of 2019 and he’s taken the last couple of years to let his body recover.

The former UFC champion is currently just 1-3 in his last four fights. All three of those losses came via knockout and prompted Rockhold to contemplate hanging it up. However, Rockhold is focused on a return and he’s determined to become champion again.

That said, the UFC is currently struggling to find him an opponent. Rockhold told Helen Yee this week that there are multiple top fifteen guys who have turned him down. This has caused a lot of frustration from the former champion.

In my opinion, the perfect fight for Rockhold’s return would’ve been a rematch with another former UFC champion in Chris Weidman. Of course, that fight is spoiled with Weidman’s leg snapping in his UFC 261 fight against Uriah Hall.

Who should the UFC pair Rockhold with?

Rockhold said that the UFC had tossed out names like Darren Till, Kevin Holland, and Uriah Hall as potential opponents. However, none of those fighters agreed to the matchup.

With that, Rockhold is still without a dance partner. Rockhold said that he would like to make his UFC return before his next birthday in October. So, who should the UFC target for his return fight?

In looking at the rankings, there are a few fights that would make sense for Rockhold. A fight that I really like is a potential matchup with Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC). Gastelum is currently ranked in the top ten and he’s only been in there with the best over the last couple of years.

He’s coming off of a loss to the former UFC champion Robert Whittaker in April. That said, for Rockhold, a fight with Gastelum would be a good barometer in determining where he currently is at compared to top competition.

Another potential matchup for Rockhold could be the winner of the Jack Hermansson – Edmen Shahbazyan fight. Those two fight tomorrow night and if the winner comes out clean, perhaps the UFC looks at that matchup.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: