‘I Thought He Would Fight Anyone’- Luke Rockhold Reveals that Khamzat Chimaev Turned Down a Fight Against Him

Published 06/24/2021, 1:21 AM EDT
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)


MMA reporter Ariel Helwani provided some interesting insight about the landscape of the middleweight division in his latest post. He revealed that former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold accepted a fight against ‘2020 Breakout Fighter of the Year’ Khamzat Chimaev. The fight was offered to Rockhold for August 28 and he is on record for having accepted the bout.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, Luke Rockhold learned that ‘Borz’ had turned down a fight against him as he wanted to continue his career at welterweight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

This move came as a surprise to Rockhold as Chimaev has built his name off the ‘Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere’ utterance. Rockhold provided a brief statement on the news that Chimaev turned down a scrap.

“All Respect but I thought he would fight anyone”, said the former UFC and Strikeforce champion.

Rockhold is looking to make a return by the end of Summer, but it will not be against ‘Borz’. In fact, Chimaev also reportedly turned down a scrap against Rockhold on August 7 which was a 3-round contest. It will be interesting to see if the fan perception of Khamzat Chimaev changes after the recent news.

Luke Rockhold: On the comeback trail

Rockhold is 1-3 in his last four outings and has suffered two straight KO defeats in his previous outings. However, as he’s exclusively faced the very best fighters on the roster, his losses only tell half the story. Not to mention, he’s been a part of the title picture for virtually his entire UFC run and is always in the mix.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 18: Luke Rockhold celebrates defeating Lyoto Machida of Brazil by tap out in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 16-5 fighter wants a top contender for his comeback bout as he believes he’s ready to re-enter the mix. As Rockhold has had large stints of inactivity, his ability to replicate his early career success despite breaks will be a large talking point.

Fans want to see Luke Rockhold make a comeback as he’s got a fighting style that could be challenging for Israel Adesanya. He’s considered one of the best ground and pound practitioners in MMA and can easily pose problems for any middleweight. However, he’ll have to rattle off a couple of decisive wins in order to enter the title picture.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Watch this story: Top 5 Biggest Rivalries in the History of the UFC

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Darryl Pinto

1785 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories