OFFICIAL: Luke Rockhold Makes His UFC Return Against Sean Strickland on UFC 268

Published 08/05/2021, 12:10 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)


Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, is finally set to make his return to the Octagon. For quite a while, the AKA trainee has been teasing his potential return. Well, he has a date for his comeback. Rockhold will fight Sean Strickland at UFC 268 in November.

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Strickland is currently the No.8 ranked middleweight contender on the planet. He last fought Uriah Hall last weekend. ‘Tarzan’ earned a lopsided split decision in his favor. Now, he will have a great opportunity in his next fight as Rockhold has a certain stardom attached to his name.

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Rockhold hasn’t fought since his 2019 knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz in the light-heavyweight division at UFC 239. The fight against Strickland will see him return to a division where he once held the belt. Also, he will end his Octagon hiatus of almost two-and-a-half years.

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)

Rockhold holds wins over some notable UFC legends. The likes of Jacare Souza, Chris Weidman, Tim Kennedy, Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping, and more are some of his most notable career wins. However, he has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights, all by knockouts. Now, at 36, it remains to be seen if he can regain his form.

Can Luke Rockhold return to the top of the UFC middleweight division?

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The former champion believes his style is a nightmare for the top middleweights of the current UFC roster. His phenomenal grappling and diverse striking can certainly be a problem for anybody. However, given his last few performances, his chin is really questionable.

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)

Strickland is a tough outing for anybody. He will look to spoil the former champion’s return. His odd timing along with forwarding pressure can be a problem for the returning Rockhold. The fight will be a fair assessment of Rockhold’s future in the 185 lbs division of the UFC.

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What do you make of this middleweight booking for UFC 268?

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Apratim Banerjee

1199 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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