On Wednesday, Bare-Knuckle FC announced the signing of two former UFC champions into their roster. Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez are expected to make their bare-knuckle boxing debuts on April 21. Rockhold goes up against Mike Perry, while Alvarez faces former title challenger Chad Mendes.
The ex-middleweight champ appeared on The MMA Hour this week to discuss his signing, which he couldn’t be happier about.
“It’s an offer I couldn’t refuse. And, I’m still a free agent. That’s the beauty of life. That’s the beauty of where we’re at and where we’re gonna keep it. BKFC, I’m loyal to them, for sure, if we stay in that space,” he told Ariel Helwani.
What seemed to delight Rockhold the most is the newfound freedom he’s getting with BKFC, which includes apparel sponsorships akin to the old UFC days.
“It’s amazing the freedom that they give. You can actually do your own f—ng thing, live your own life. Not be a f—ng slave. I’m done being a f—ng slave, and I’m excited to be partnered with bare-knuckle and do this thing right.
“It brings out the best in a fighter, too, when you’re not enslaved into that shit. That you’re fighting for yourself in your own worth, and what you can be worth.”
Rockhold, who turns 39 this year, has nothing but good things to say about BKFC and the treatment he’s getting so far.
“They take care of the fighters, man. They take care of the people, and they give you what you’re worth. And I’m happy to go in there. I’m happy to train, I’m happy to take my training camp with me.
“Given the opponent, the payday, and the stage, I think this was the best opportunity, for sure. There’s still other opportunities still on the table right now, in the mix, but this is exciting, and this is new, and this is what intrigues me the most.”
Rockhold (16-6 in MMA) last saw action in August at UFC 278 against Paulo Costa. He lost via unanimous decision and announced his retirement right after. But as it’s customary in prizefighting, he began teasing a comeback months later.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)