While former UFC middleweight champion Luke Lockhold didn’t say the word “retire” after his loss at UFC 278, he has communicated his intentions to the UFC.
MMA Junkie confirmed Tuesday with representatives of Rockhold (16-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) that he is actually retiring from MMA following notification from algorithm-based Twitter account UFC Roster Watch , which tracks active UFC additions and deletions to the roster.
After an all-out war with Paul Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the co-main event at UFC 278, Rockhold was stunned in his fight against Joe Rogan ( Joe Rogan in the Octagon before his impassioned postgame interview.
“I’ve been through so much over the past few years,” Lockhold said tearfully. “I’m fucking…thank you, fight. Thank you, UFC. Thank you, Joe (Rogan). I can’t fucking do this anymore. I’m giving it my all. I just don’t… I fuck Old.”
Rockhold, 37, never made it clear that he was retiring now. Although his interview sounded like a retirement speech, he never said it specifically, nor did he traditionally place his gloves in the center of the cage to signal his departure from the sport.
After the first time in three years, the former champion will leave. The best stretch of Rockhold’s UFC career was a five-game winning streak, a three-game winning streak against former champions Michael Bisping, Ryoto Machida and Chris Weidman.