Exclusive: Ex-UFC champ Luke Rockhold open to rematch with Lyoto Machida in Karate Combat

Check out our quick chat with former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold,

By: Eddie Mercado | 1 month ago

Former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, is commentating Karate Combat 40 this Saturday (June 24th) from Miami, Florida and Bloody Elbow had a chance to catch up with the not-so-retired prize fighter. Time was limited, so I was only able to ask a few questions, so it was only natural for me to ask about him possibly stepping into the Pit to compete. Rockhold seemed a little more than interested.


Luke Rockhold getting back to his kicks

“It would be good to get back to my kicks. I think that’s more me,” Rockhold told Bloody Elbow about trying out Karate Combat. “Bare knuckle was, you know, I’m in an exploration time right now and just doing things that are fun, that excite me. Being a part of a promotion like this [KC] and it’s just intriguing. I like it, so you never know.”

Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold 2?

Having retired from MMA at UFC 278, Rockhold tried his hand at bare knuckle boxing, coming up short to Mike Perry just two months ago. Funny enough, Rockhold’s previous opponent, Lyoto Machida, actually helped Perry prepare for Luke, so I had to ask him about a possible rematch with ‘The Dragon’ in a sans submission Karate Combat format.

Luke responded, “I didn’t really need a submission the last time I fought Machida, haha. I think that was the ground and pound. To my understand, you still have ground and pound. Five-seconds? that’s all I need… I’m not opposed to it.”

Rockhold went on about the idea of a Machida rematch, “That’s a pretty good one right there. That’s a pretty good one, but you never know. I got to see the lay of the land, but he was helping out Mike Perry, wasn’t he. Might have to settle that one.”

Will this match actually happen?

All things considered, this matchup could actually come top fruition. It actually makes sense. Both fighters are in the twilight of their respective careers, and Rockhold appears to be game. Karate Combat is a no brainer for Machida. He was the guy that won a UFC title with a Karate base in the modern era. Everything about this seems like a no brainer, but it does sound like an awfully expensive endeavor for such a young a promotion. If KC can pull it off, it would hands down be their largest draw to date.

Full Karate Combat 40 fight card

Main card

  • Josh Quayhagen vs. Rafael Aghayev: Welterweight Title
  • Edgars Skrivers vs. Gabriel Varga: Lightweight
  • Samuel Ericsson vs. Alexandre Bouderbane: Welterweight
  • Kenji Grillon vs. Shahin Atamov: Welterweight
  • Jesus Lopez vs. Ilies Mardhi: Bantamweight
  • Marcel Ritter vs. Kai Calaway: Middleweight
  • Fernando Paz vs. Jeremy Payet: Lightweight
  • Deivis Ferreras vs. Mitchell Thorpe: Lightweight
  • Jo Miyahara vs. Leo Valdivia: Lightweight
  • Maximo Nunez vs. Damian Villa: Bantamweight

Free KC 40 live stream

Disclosure: Karate Combat is covering the author’s travel expenses to this event.

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About the author
Eddie Mercado
Eddie Mercado

Eddie Mercado is a writer and content creator for Bloody Elbow, and has covered combat sports since 2015. Eddie covers everything from betting odds and live events, to fighter interviews and co-hosting the 6th Round post-fight show and the 6th Round Retro. He retired at 1-0 in professional MMA, competed in one Muay Thai match in Thailand, and is currently a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu under the great Diego Bispo.

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