Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold once reached the pinnacle of the sport. He pounded then dominant champ Chris Weidman, to become the middleweight champ in 2015.
After losing his belt to Michael Bisping and having variuos injuries, Rockhold went into an extended hiatus. Recently another former champ Robert Whittaker revealed that his hiatus has not been due to injuries, but to the fact that he’s “completely burnt out” from fighting.
Whittaker pulled out of his UFC 248 fight against Jared Cannonier in March. He has also went on to reveal that he didn’t really like being a champion. Speaking with Submission Radio recently, Rockhold said he understands Whittaker’s feelings and that he has experienced it as well. He claimed it to be the reason that he didn’t include a family to his lifestyle.
“People want to talk sh*t from afar and don’t understand what fighting is,” Rockhold said. “Getting to the top of the world and fighting those wars that Whittaker put in and having a family, I can’t really imagine what that does to you. You don’t want to do that forever. That’s why I never really introduced a family to this lifestyle, because it’s a lot to handle and I see a lot of people that I don’t understand how they manage it. . .
“I think it’s just finding the hunger once you get to the top of the world. . . You’ve gotten there, you’ve done that, what more do you want? It’s not for everybody to keep following that path. I feel like there was a tremendous weight off my shoulders and that’s why I can see where Whittaker would – he’d proven that, he’d defended that, and he’d done it a few times and proved himself. So finding that motivation and that hunger to keep going on with that same passion, I think that’s the biggest key.”
Unfortunately he put together a record of 1-3 in his last four fights after winning the belt. The anticlimactic career also included a move to light heavyweight where he got brutally knocked out. Another factor for losing the hunger may be his endeavors outside the octagon. Rockhold pursued modelling along the way due to his good looks. The biggest highlight of his modelling career came in when he became the face of prestigious Ralph Lauren’s “Polo Blue” cologne fragrance.
Rockhold does not really need to fight but the champ would like to end on a good note. He said the biggest obstacle right now is just to find a path to return.