If Logan Paul doesn’t get knocked out in a boxing match with former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, the latter will retire from combat sports.
That’s what Rockhold said during a recent interview with Inside Fighting. “If I don’t knock him out, I’ll retire,” Rockhold, who recently became a free agent, said. “I’ll retire for good. I mean, that’s done. But, I’m putting hands together.”
“If I don’t knock Logan Paul out cold, I’d be f****** out,” he continued. “I’m out, I guarantee it. No, not disappointment — I’d be f****** devastated. But, that ain’t gonna happen.”
Paul, a social media superstar, last boxed in June 2021 in an exhibition match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Rockhold told the outlet that he would Paul “in anywhere,” whether it be wrestling or boxing. But, Rockhold said that he’d prefer boxing.
When asked if he had spoken with Paul’s team, the 38-year-old fighter said he had been “talking around,” including with Jake Paul’s business partner Nakisa Bidarian and Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza.
Rockhold Announced Last Month He Was Coming Out of His Brief Retirement
Rockhold ended a three-year mixed martial arts hiatus in August when he returned to battle top-ranked middleweight Paulo Costa. Although he had his moments during the three-round contest at UFC 278, Rockhold ultimately lost via unanimous decision. During his in-cage interview, The American announced he was retiring from the sport.
Fast forward a few months and Rockhold appeared on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” in January. Rockhold revealed to host Ariel Helwani that he and the UFC decided to part ways and that he was ready to compete, and he specifically showed interest in boxing.
“Your man’s a free agent,” Rockhold said on the show. “Free and clear, and I’m ready and re-inspired to go out there and do something new.” Rockhold said he had “paid his dues” and UFC executive Hunter Campbell “granted him his wish” to be released from his contract.
“I need a new setting,” he continued. “I need a new challenge. … You get burned out in the game when you’ve done so much, and you need new obstacles.”
All in all, Rockhold has a professional mixed martial arts record of 16-6 with six wins via KO/TKO and eight by submission.
Rockhold Hinted He Wasn’t Done in MMA
Although Rockhold was clear that his main aim is to box either Logan or Jake Paul, the former world champion said to Inside Fighting he still has “fight in” him, hinting that he could make his way back into an MMA cage in the near future.
“I took my time away from the UFC because my legs needed a break,” Rockhold said. “I’ve taken a lot of damage, a couple of surgeries after my fight on my ankle. So, it feels good to have that break and get that freedom. The UFC gave me that opportunity, and said, ‘You want to go box these kids, good do the thing.’ And I appreciate that, and that’s what I’m here to do.
“I’m going to go box a bit, but I still have fight in me too.”