We haven’t seen Luke Rockhold in the cage since 2019, when he was KO’d by future UFC champion Jan Blachowicz. Prior to that bout Rockhold was KO’d by Yoel Romero. It had seemed like Rockhold was ready to return to action with a bout with Sean Strickland recently, but that fell through due to injury.
Lately, Rockhold has been talking up a potential fight with Paulo Costa. Rockhold’s absence, and actions, have spurred his former foe Michael Bisping to put out a video titled: What’s the deal with Rockhold?
That video (below) includes clips taken from Bisping’s podcast Believe You where he spoke with fourth ranked UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith.
And Smith was not kind when discussing Rockhold, a former UFC middleweight champion, and his chances of making an impact in the sport from here on out.
“He’s not able to stay awake at work,” said Smith (ht sportskeeda), alluding to Rockhold five professional losses, all of which have come via strikes. “He falls asleep on the job all the time. But it’s just like he sucks now. And OK that’s a lie. I don’t want to put it out there like that. I think he’s very skilled. He’s super dangerous, he’s got insane kicks, he’s got good power, he’s an insane wrestler, he’s a fantastic guy on top. But defensively, he’s not good enough to beat anybody worth a fuck.”
Rockhold joined Strikeforce in 2008 with a 1-1 record. He won all nine of his contests with that organization and won the Strikeforce middleweight title with a win over Jacare Souza. He defended the title twice before the promotion was bought out by the UFC.
In his UFC debut, in 2013, Rockhold was KO’d by a spinning heel kick delivered by Vitor Belfort. Rockhold regrouped though and won his next five fights, which included submission wins over Bisping and Lyoto Machida and then—in 2015—a TKO over Chris Weidman to win the UFC middleweight title.
Rockhold lost the belt in his next fight, after being KO’d by Bisping, who came in on short notice for an injured Weidman.
Rockhold’s last win in the Octagon was a TKO over David Branch in 2017.
Smith is currently on a three fight winning streak with victories over Ryan Spann, Jimmy Crute and Devin Clark. In 2019 he unsuccessfully challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title.