Ex-champ Luke Rockhold decides against retirement, angles for 2020 return

Luke Rockhold won’t be hanging up his gloves after all.

Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), a former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, appeared to be leaning toward retirement this past November when he opened up on his lack of desire to fight.

But in April, Rockhold claimed he was getting an itch to compete again, and according to ESPN, he has decided to return to fighting. Rockhold most recently fought in July 2019, when he suffered a second-round knockout to Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut.

He will be returning at middleweight and the 35-year-old hopes to compete by the end of 2020. He is currently recovering from shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff, which he expects to sideline him for another month.

Rockhold expressed interest in facing former foe Chris Weidman, whom he stopped in 2015 to capture the UFC middleweight title. After Weidman defeated Omari Akhmedov this past Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 32, Rockhold reposted a poll in his Instagram stories that had him as the top vote getter for whom Weidman should face next.

Rockhold, who splits his training camps between American Kickboxing Academy in California and Sanford MMA in Florida, has spent the past week at AKA helping his longtime training partner Daniel Cormier prepare for Saturday’s heavyweight title fight main event at UFC 252.

Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/08/luke-rockhold-former-ufc-champion-not-retiring-2020-return-mma/

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