The former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold said the word “retire”.
After his all-out war of a fight against Paulo Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 278, Rockhold took his gloves off while in the octagon before giving an impassioned post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
“I’ve been through so much the last few years,” Rockhold said as tears flowed. “I f*cking … thank you, fighting. Thank you, UFC. Thank you, Joe (Rogan). I f*cking can’t do this sh*t anymore. I gave it my all. I just didn’t … I’m f*cking old.”
His interview sounded like a retirement speech, he never said it specifically and did not lay his gloves in the center of the cage, as traditionally done to signify walking away from the sport.
The former champion will indeed walk away after competing for the first time in three years. The best stretch of Rockhold’s UFC career was a five-fight win streak that led to the title, which three consecutive wins over former champions in Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida, and Chris Weidman.