‘Is the Chin Still There’ – Michael Bisping Shows Concern for Luke Rockhold Ahead of His UFC Return Against Sean Strickland

Published 08/13/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: American former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold during a UFC 221 workout session on December 12, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)


Luke Rockhold is about to return to the UFC Octagon and has verbally agreed to fight surging middleweight Sean Strickland at UFC 268. ‘Tarzan’ Strickland, who recently picked up a win over Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 33, is now the no.8 middleweight in the world. 

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Although the UFC offered Strickland to Luke Rockhold as an opponent earlier, the former champion declined, calling Strickland a ‘nobody’. However, as of now, a win over Strickland will see the 36-year-old get right back into the mix at middleweight, so here we are. 

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Rockhold’s last appearance at 185 lbs was almost three years ago. On that night, he lost to Yoel Romero via knockout in an interim title fight. Given his recent track record, one of Rockhold’s former rivals, Michael Bisping, believes a fight with Strickland could be a risky one for the 36-year-old. 

“It’s a risky fight for Luke Rockhold, I’ll tell you that. I’ll tell you that just because where is Luke at? We don’t know; we don’t know where he’s at, obviously; he was an extremely dominant champion, and I’m not bigging myself up. I beat him, and then Yoel beat him, and then Jan Blachowicz beat him, all by knockout, which is the troubling thing for a Luke Rockhold fan. So all by knockouts, is the chin still there? ”   

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Although Strickland may not be as decorated as Rockhold, he certainly has the pace to keep pressing forward. Also, he is now on a five-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Rockhold has lost 2 of his last 3 fights. 

An exciting match-up, by all means, this fight is an exciting addition to an already stacked card. Perhaps Rockhold will finally get back in the win column this time. On the other hand, for Sean Strickland, getting the win over a name like Rockhold will do wonders for his publicity and overall fight career.

Can Luke Rockhold become champion again?

A former champion in the UFC and Strikeforce, Luke Rockhold certainly has the tools to become a champion once again. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems Rockhold seems to face is his deteriorating chin and lack of defensive maneuvers while striking.

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NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 18: Luke Rockhold prepares to fight against Lyoto Machida of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Perhaps as all this time off has allowed Rockhold to make all the necessary adjustments, we will get to witness a better and upgraded version of the former UFC champion.

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However, even if Rockhold gets past Strickland, competing with the top guys at middleweight will be a tedious task considering his age and time off.

What do you think? Will we ever see Luke Rockhold become champion again? Let us know in the comments.

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David Andrew

138 articles

David Andrew is an MMA author at EssentiallySports with a background in English Literature from St. Stephens College. Prior to his current role, David, who combines his passion for writing and combat sports, contributed to the MMA divisions at Sportskeeda and The Sportsrush.

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