The UFC’s success is attributed to conformists, while Luke Rockhold claims genuine fighters like him and Francis Ngannou are essential

Luke Rockhold, the 38-year-old former UFC and Strikeforce champion, has revealed that having his fighting career effectively controlled by the UFC was a reason for his temporary retirement last year. He felt like he was offered limited options and that there was little autonomy, with the UFC controlling how much he could earn, on what terms and who he would face in the ring.

Rockhold also discussed the advantages of his status as a free agent, having secured a release from the UFC, that he believes give him the power to choose the fights and paychecks he wants based upon, he says, “his wishes and happiness”. Among the criticisms of the UFC, Rockhold has also praised fighters such as Francis Ngannou who is currently negotiating his own shorter contract with the UFC.

Rockhold has attracted significant interest in his return to action and has since decided to compete in the bare-knuckle boxing competition, with his first scheduled bout against Mike Perry in BKFC 41. The spectacle and entertainment are likely to be high with two fighters known for their intensity and love of the game.


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