The UFC is in the process of finalizing a big middleweight contest for November. Aaron Bronsteter of TSN was the first to report that the promotion was closing in on a middleweight contest between former UFC champion Luke Rockhold (16-5) and Sean Strickland (24-3).
The fight will take place at UFC 268 which is scheduled for November 6th. The location is tentatively booked for Madison Square Garden, but given our current environment, that location is not set in stone.
Strickland is coming off of a big win against Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 33 over the weekend. Earlier today, we published a piece about what could be next for Strickland. One of the options out there was a fight with sixth ranked Jack Hermansson.
However, the UFC had different plans. Luke Rockhold has been itching to make his return, but the promotion was having a tough time getting him a fight. He wanted someone in the top ten, but nobody was available for him.
UFC books Rockhold’s Return
After Strickland won this past weekend, the UFC asked him if he’d be interested in fighting Luke Rockhold in November. Strickland told the promotion that he’d be ready and the UFC went back to Rockhold with an offer.
It didn’t take long for the former middleweight champion to accept and now his return is officially on the books. Rockhold will be fighting at middleweight for the first time since 2018 when he lost to Yoel Romero in an interim title fight.
After that loss, Rockhold moved up to light heavyweight where he was knocked out by the current champion Jan Blachowicz. After that fight at UFC 239, Rockhold said that he was walking away from the sport.
However, after having some time away to heal up, Rockhold got the itch to compete again. Now, the former UFC champion is set to make his return and he’s coming for the middleweight title.
Overall, Rockhold is 6-3 in his last nine UFC fights. However, he’s just 1-3 after becoming middleweight champion and all three of those losses were by knockout. This is a huge fight for both men and it will tell us a lot about where each man is.