Luke Rockhold Plans To Take Out ‘B*tch’ Sean Strickland Before Fighting Israel Adesanya For Title

Former undisputed UFC champion, Luke Rockhold certainly isn’t planning a swansong anytime soon ahead of his incoming UFC 268 pairing with surging contender, Sean Strickland — claiming that he’ll set sights on reclaiming his former crown against reigning middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya in the future.

Making his Octagon return on November 5. at Madison Square Garden, Rockhold, a former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight titleholder is set to feature under the promotion’s banner for the first time since July 2019 where he suffered a second round knockout loss to current light heavyweight kingpin, Jan Blachowicz in his divisional debut. Rockhold also suffered a broken jaw in the main card clash.

Initially targeting a late-summer Octagon return, Rockhold, who recovered from surgery on a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his time away from the sport, settled on the streaking Strickland next, after claiming he needed a “sexy” stylistic opponent in order to entice him to make a return to the Octagon.

The Californian veteran is currently in the midst of a two-fight knockout losing streak — dropping a particularly infamous third round loss to upcoming Bellator MMA debutante, Yoel Romero for an interim middleweight title back at UFC 221.

Maintaining that he would offer something different to reigning, dominant middleweight champion, Adesanya if the two were paired in the future, Rockhold explained recently that with a victory over recent headliner, Strickland, he would set sights on the City Kickboxing standout.

I’m not here for one fight, I’m here to go out for it,” Rockhold told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’m here to go for Izzy (Israel Adesanya). I’m here to go for gold. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m here for. (Sean) Stickland is the f*cking path, let’s take this b*tch out.

Whilst Rockhold has set his crosshairs on 185lbs best, Adesanya, he’ll likely have to wait in line behind expected next challenger, former champion, Robert Whittaker who is expected to meet with Adesanya in a rematch early next year.

As far as other willing contenders are concerned, the likes of Jared Cannonier and Derek Brunson, as well as a combination of Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa are likely to call for another shot at Adesanya’s title before the close of this year.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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