Former UFC Middleweight Champion and #2 ranked contender in the division Luke Rockhold was all set for a rematch with former UFC Middleweight Champion and the #3 ranked contender Chris Weidman on November 3rd at UFC 230. Unfortunately for him, on October 19th it was reported that he had to withdraw from the bout with an injury.
This ws a fight that many were looking forward to as it was Weidman who Rockhold defeated in 2015 with a fourth-round TKO at UFC 194 to win the UFC middleweight title and hand Weidman his first-ever loss in MMA after starting out 13-0.
A UFC middleweight title rematch with Weidman was scheduled to take place in 2016 at UFC 199, but Weidman had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. He was replaced in the bout by Michael Bisping, who proceeed to knock Rockhold out in the first round in one of the biggest upsets in the UFC title fight history, after being submitted by Rockhold just 18 months prior.
So now, MMA fans will have to wait a bit longer for the rematch even though, as Rockhold told Submission Radio (via MMAFighting.com), he did everything he could to not have to withdraw.
“It was a tough one to accept, but that’s why you have coaching staff and good people around you to kind of guide you in the right way,” said Rockhold.
“Man, I didn’t want to accept this fight going away. I wanted every fuckin’ inch of it. So, I tried everything I could, but unfortunately it’s just too much to work around. I gotta be able to walk into Madison Square Garden, I can’t crawl.”
The injury was just too much to overcome with Rockhold calling the surgical wound related to his leg injury “a complete nightmare.”
“The leg injury has been a f***ing nightmare — a complete nightmare. It was a misinformed surgery. Unfortunately, I was misguided by a couple of doctors, and I wouldn’t say malpractice, but it was a pretty idiotic move to open me up on the blade of my shin where they did, and everything I learned thus far. It seemed like a superficial surgery, and that’s why I went ahead with it. And sure enough it’s been one of the worst things that I’ve ever dealt with in my life. So, I really can’t make any contact with it. It’s on the blade of my shin and it’s such a… like, I was in jeopardy of so many things with this leg and its repercussions if I were to go out there and this thing opened up and an infection got into the bone,” he explained.
“It’s just not worth it. I didn’t kick. The whole camp I didn’t use my left leg to kick. And so unfortunately after Vegas I got an infection on my way back home. And then as I thought the leg was doing better and it would be ready to go, it backtracked and opened up and then it was in jeopardy again. It was red, it was inflamed and it was dangerous, cause the skin has to build up.”
On top of all that, as he tried to push through his training for the fight, Rockhold also suffered a broken nose and a sprained knee, calling them “a sign” that it just wasn’t meant to be right now.
“I couldn’t walk for three days. So, I mean, limping around and not being able to train, it was pretty much it. I couldn’t use my left leg, I couldn’t engage with my fuckin’ nose, and I couldn’t walk. So, between the three of them I think it was a pretty obvious choice. I needed to make a call,” he explained.
Rockhold said he hopes to fight again at UFC 232 on December 29th, but it won’t be against Weidman because he will be now fighting Ronaldo Souza on November 3rd.