Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is known for his championship bouts and model-like looks, but he also has one particularly memorable and unflattering story from his days as an up-and-coming competitor.
During a recent appearance on The JAXXON Podcast, Rockhold opened up about some of the extreme measures he has taken while cutting weight for bouts. One particularly memorable story involved Rockhold urinating on rocks in a sauna.
The incident in question happened back in 2007, when Rockhold was cutting weight for a match on the Strikeforce Challengers series.
Rockhold recalled: “Its a lot of weight cut. I’m in the sauna by myself in this back room, in the hotel, Marriott or something, in San Jose. I’m like, I’m down in my last bit. I’m almost there, and I’m just dying. And there’s nobody in there. I look around, there’s no bathroom. I feel like a little pee and I’m like oh my god, what is going on there? There was nothing in there. I didn’t know how to go.”
Desperate for a bathroom, Rockhold resorted to relieving himself directly in the sauna. He ended up peeing on the rocks.
As Rockhold tells it, he thought it would just be a brief and harmless action. But once he started, he couldn’t stop. He ended up urinating all over the sauna’s hot rocks. It ended up filling the sauna with an overpowering stench.
“The fire alarm starts going off, the whole place is smoking. It stinks like f**king hell. It’s insane. And I was like, ‘I’m fu**ed,” he said.
The smell became so strong that it set off the fire alarm and brought emergency personnel rushing to the scene.
“I would just go back in the sauna, put the towel over my head, and just lock in, and just sit there. My manager and the fire department, the people started blasting through the double doors.”
Rockhold knew he had made a huge mistake. When questioned by his coach about the foul odor, Rockhold denied any knowledge. He refused to vacate the sauna, determined to cut as much weight as possible despite the chaos around him.
Rockhold admitted he had no choice but to stay put and continue cutting weight despite the unorthodox situation. He said: “They finally aired it out, got it down to a reasonable level it still stunk like f**k.”
The former champion went on to say that the experience taught him an important lesson about proper preparation when cutting weight. While extreme weight cutting tactics are often glamorized in combat sports culture, Rockhold’s story highlights the grueling realities competitors face behind the scenes.