After Begging Him Not to Change His Retirement Decision, UFC HOFer Daniel Cormier Expresses Concern to Luke Rockhold News

Published 01/25/2023, 3:59 AM EST
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 11: Luke Rockhold prepares to enter the Octagon before facing Yoel Romero of Cuba in their interim middleweight title bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold recently announced that he was ending his retirement to test free agency and Daniel Cormier has responded. Rockhold last entered the octagon at UFC 278 in August 2022. He put his heart on display as he fought the Brazilian powerhouse, Paulo Costa. Although Rockhold lost the contest, he gained the love and respect of his peers and fans after that gritty display. It was the perfect sendoff for his ride into the sunset. However, five months after his retirement, Rockhold is itching to get back to competition, this time as a free agent. His friend and AKA teammate Daniel Cormier had a few words after Rockhold’s decision to end his retirement. Surprisingly, they are a far cry from what he said a few months ago.

Daniel Cormier on Luke Rockhold ending his retirement

In a recent episode of DC & RC, former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier weighed in on Rockhold’s decision to test free agency. While Cormier preferred that his friend stayed retired, he did not oppose Rockhold making financial gains from a free agency stint.

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He said, “I just kind of was hoping that that was the end of the story. That last fight. It was great. He was loved. It seemed like a fairytale ending.”

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 17: Daniel Cormier is interviewed after his TKO loss to Stipe Miocic in their heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 241 event at the Honda Center on August 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 43-year-old continued, “But, obviously, the draw of the crowd and the money and the fighting is still too much for Luke and I’m happy that he gets an opportunity to go out and pursue that.”

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Rockhold had previously expressed an interest in returning to competition if Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title. Back then, Cormier shut down the idea completely.

What Cormier said about Rockhold returning to the UFC

As reported by ‘BloodyElbow’, ‘DC’ unequivocally turned down the idea of Rockhold returning to MMA. He was having absolutely none of it. He said, “Luke, don’t come back. It’s only been a few weeks, and it was absolutely perfect. It couldn’t be better.”

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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 16: Luke Rockhold celebrates after defeating David Branch in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the PPG Paints Arena on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He further added, “Because Luke Rockhold has been the guy that has not been loved, but in that performance, he gained the praise of the masses. Not only did he gain the praise of the masses though, he gained the praise of his opponent in the competition.”

Cormier did not see the point in a 37-year-old Rockhold returning to face top-of-the-food-chain guys like Adesanya and Pereira. However, since Rockhold is entertaining lucrative boxing ideas at the moment, DC seems to have softened his stance.

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What are your thoughts about Rockhold fighting again? And what do you make of DC’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.

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Yeswanth Praveen

366 articles

Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His interests mainly lie in the realm of MMA, bodybuilding, and the fitness industry. He finished his Master's in English literature from EFLU, Hyderabad.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu

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