Luke Rockhold just retired after his loss to Paulo Costa last August, but the former UFC middleweight champion already spoke about the possibility of returning if Alex Pereira wins the belt.
His longterm teammate and friend Daniel Cormier has since responded, seriously urging the 37-year-old to stay retired and to keep away from fighting.
“I want to speak directly to my friend, Luke Rockhold,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Luke, don’t come back. It’s only been a few weeks and it was absolutely perfect. It was perfect, it couldn’t be better. Because Luke Rockhold has been the guy that has not been loved, but in that performance, he gained the praise of the masses. Not only did he gain the praise of the masses though, he gained the praise of his opponent in the competition. I told you guys Paulo Costa came up to me a week later and told me how special it was to share the Octagon with Luke.
“Luke, don’t come back. It’s fine. Go do jiu-jitsu if you want to. Go to ADCC,” he said.
“You got to fight the urge. We all get it, where we start going ‘You know what, I can still’ — No man, we can’t! ...I can’t. Maybe Luke can with some time away, but I would advice for him to stay away. Don’t go back, especially not now.
“Instead of trying to recreate (that glory) and chase it, call me, call Khabib. We’ll talk about the glory days of when we were the best, but I don’t know if coming back to fighting right now is the right thing.
“If I’m giving my brother advice, don’t come back. What’s the point?” Cormier said. “Champ, stay home, enjoy retirement. I’m telling you, you’ll get used to it.”
For what it’s worth, Costa, who likes to troll people online these days, now claims he never spoke about Rockhold in the way Cormier just described.
No I didn’t say nothing, sorry ! pic.twitter.com/umxSjvVUk3— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 2, 2022
Rockhold has had an impressive career in both Strikeforce and UFC, where he won both middleweight titles and went 14-1 in both promotions from 2008-2015. He is turning 38 this October though, and only has one win in the last seven years.
His wild bout with Costa earned him “Fight of the Night” honors, but Rockhold admitted that he looked “old” as decided to retire after the loss.