You can add Luke Rockhold to the growing list of disgruntled UFC fighters. The former middleweight champion sat down with MMA Junkie Radio recently to speak out against his current employers and how the UFC is no longer the “best option” for many of his fellow fighters.
I’d never close the door on anything. The paychecks are great elsewhere. UFC is not always the best option anymore. There are a few guys on top, but you’re still entering a big battle with these guys that it’s just not exactly a fair playing field.
When guys like Francis Ngannou are getting shelved for asking for his worth and they’re creating interim titles which is all bullshit. This is the type of shit you have to deal with.
Rockhold has his own unpleasant experiences with UFC president Dana White, a man he once referred to as a “tyrant” who beat him down mentally when he lost the 185-pound title. His low opinion of the bossman hasn’t changed and he’s urging his fellow fighters to stand up for themselves.
I’m gonna respect myself publicly. I’m not gonna disrespect myself, which is what a lot of people do, which is the common narrative with the UFC, and what Dana White has created. It’s just to shut down fighters, criticize champions.
The narrative that they’ve created is for the fans to want to hate on fighters, and it’s just bullshit. You gotta go out there, you respect yourself and you get paid. This is the f—ng fight game. We’re the fighters, we’re the entertainment, we deserve our worth.
The 36-year-old Rockhold hasn’t fought since 2019 at UFC 239. He’s verbally agreed to face Sean Strickland at UFC 268 in November, which may take place at Madison Square Garden.