Luke Rockhold was offered a UFC main event in August against Khamzat Chimaev but he claims the undefeated fighter turned it down.
Rockhold has talked about a return to the Octagon for quite some time and wanted a top-ranked middleweight. Yet, the former UFC middleweight champion revealed he was offered to headline the August 28 Fight Night card but Chimaev turned it down. He was also offered a three-round fight against Chimaev at UFC 265 on August 7, but that too was declined by the Swede, Rockhold revealed to Ariel Helwani.
Luke Rockhold tells me he was offered a main event vs. Khamzat Chimaev on Aug. 28. He said he accepted but just got word Chimaev declined because he’s staying at 170. He also accepted a 3-rounder vs Chimaev on Aug. 7. “All respect but I thought he would fight anyone,” he said.
Rockhold then told Helwani that the plan is to fight by the end of the summer. He still wants a top-ranked middleweight. Who that will be is uncertain, but it appears Rockhold is ready to return to the Octagon.
It’s also interesting to hear that Chimaev turned Rockhold down. Chimaev has said he will fight anyone at any time. It also would’ve been a big fight for the Swede. If he won, he would’ve skyrocketed up the middleweight ranks. But, it appears he’s dead set on fighting at welterweight which is where many have said he will be at his best.
Luke Rockhold has not fought since UFC 239 where he suffered a second-round KO loss to the now light heavyweight champ, Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut. Prior to that, he suffered a KO loss to Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title. He’s just 1-3 in his last four with his lone win coming over David Branch and his other loss being a KO loss to Michael Bisping to lose his belt.