Luke Rockhold bit off more than he can chew when he decided to steer off path and include Sean Strickland in his online call outs.
Former middleweight champion is launching a campaign to return to the octagon following an extended break and set his sights on top ranked opponents in the division. Of course, harsh words were exchanged.
“[Strickland] is out there supporting pe dophiles,” Rockhold said on The DC Check-In. “Piece of crap. The guy needs to be written off.”
This is especially jarring considering that Strickland has been one of the few to speak out on power disbalance with some of the female competitors that are dating their MMA coaches who they met as teens – notably Rose Namajunas and Aspen Ladd.
While Strickland is by no means a household name – he was so effective that Namajunas’ boyfriend coach Pat Barry went on to accuse him as a guilty party after her poor performance at UFC 274.
Strickland didn’t need much to craft his own personal response to Rockhold – who was viciously knocked out in his last outing by Jan Blachowicz.
“So whenever Luke Rockhold first started running his mouth about me, it made me upset because a lot of what he was saying was untrue. We trained, I almost knocked him out, there were witnesses. And this whole supporting pe dophiles thing… he’s almost like detached from reality.”
“Then I’m starting to realize the guy is 40 years old and he’s been knocked out how many times? I mean, viciously knocked out. Probably has severe brain damage, maybe some CTE. I don’t know man, maybe it’s time to hang up the gloves for good.”
Rockhold isn’t ready to retire yet – after all the middleweight division is at somewhat of a standstill with Israel Adesanya outclassing his challengers consistently.
Rockhold will be facing Paulo Costa at UFC 278 in August. Strickland will make his next octagon walk at UFC 276 when he faces Alex Pereira.