Ex-UFC Champion Luke Rockhold Could Potentially Make Major Move

Luke Rockhold & Paulo Costa

Getty Luke Rockhold & Paulo Costa

Former UFC middleweight champion and recently retired fighter Luke Rockhold is “not opposed” to trying his hands at boxing.

That’s what he told MMA Junkie in a recent interview, around two months after officially calling it a career inside the Octagon at UFC 278. Rockhold went to war with Paulo Costa for three bloody rounds, and the ex-185-pound king lost via unanimous decision.

“I love physical stress, no doubt,” Rockhold said (h/t MMA News). “I will definitely look to chase adversity and discomfort. I’m not opposed to boxing; my legs need a f***** break. So, if there’s some interesting people with the right people in the right promotion, I’d love to test myself. New ventures are always great.”

Even though Rockhold suffered his third straight loss in August, his bout with Costa has been viewed by many as a sort of resurgence for the American.

Questions of his ability to handle a big punch had plagued Rockhold, and after taking everything “Borrachinha” had to offer, Rockhold silenced many of his doubters. And although he decided to deliver a retirement speech to the fans at UFC 278, it appears Rockhold isn’t fully content with moving on from active competition.

On October 11, Rockhold shared a clip on Instagram of himself hitting mitts with the caption: “Back on the crack with the boys. Can’t lie, I’m still addicted!! 5 weeks off foot and ankle surgery.”

Rockhold Recently Said He Wouldn’t ‘Close the Door’ on MMA

Last month, Rockhold said that he wanted to remain retired, but he wouldn’t “close the door” on returning to mixed martial arts.

“Sometimes I struggle back and forth thinking how I want to approach this, but too many people hide behind their words, not how they really feel,” Rockhold on Instagram via MMA Junkie. “But, I want to retire. I want to work on life like I did a f*cking fraction of on my break, but I want to get my f*cking body together, get my health together. Health is wealth, ultimately, and my body is f*cking deteriorating and a fight doesn’t help that.

“So, I want to get my body back, but I’ll never close the door (on MMA). Once I get my health fully back, and I get my body where I want, and I start performing and not hurting myself, (then) maybe, maybe, maybe, I’ll make another run at this thing – one, two, three years down the line. I honestly feel like I’m only getting better. The way I’m treating my body and changing the game.”

Rockhold Became the UFC Middleweight Champion in 2015, Was Ex-Strikeforce King

All in all, Rockhold has had one of the most impressive middleweight careers in MMA history. He was the final Strikeforce 185-pound champion before the UFC absorbed the promotion, defending his belt against Tim Kennedy and Keith Jardine.

Rockhold became the undisputed UFC middleweight king in 2015 when he dethroned then-champion Chris Weidman via fourth-round TKO. With a professional record of 16-6, Rockhold boasts wins over the likes of former MMA champions Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza and David Branch.

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