Rockhold in 2016
October 17, 1984 |
Santa Cruz, California, United States
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)|
|Reach||77.0 in (196 cm)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo|
|Fighting out of||San Jose, California, United States|
|Team||American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)|
|Rank||Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Leandro Vieira Black belt in|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|Representing United States|
|IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships|
|2007 Long Beach||-91.5 kg (No-Gi)|
|2007 Long Beach||-94.30 kg|
|Pan American Championship|
|2006 Long Beach||-88.3 kg|
Luke Skyler Rockhold (born October 17, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist competing in the UFC, where he is the former UFC Middleweight Champion. He won the title on December 12, 2015 by defeating prior champion, the undefeated Chris Weidman via 4th round TKO. A two-time world champion, Rockhold also won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship by defeating Ronaldo Souza on September 10, 2011 via unanimous decision. Rockhold defended the title twice and was the last man to hold it. He is currently ranked the #1 middleweight and #3 official pound-for-pound fighter by the UFC and other publications like Fight Matrix and Sherdog. Luke is also an ardent surfer and skateboarder.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Mixed martial arts career
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 Fighting style
- 5 Mixed martial arts record
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Rockhold was born in the Bay Area city of Santa Cruz, California and hails from an athletic family. Growing up, Luke and his older brother, pro-surfer Matt Rockhold, surfed their local breaks together. His father, Steve Rockhold was a professional basketball player in Europe and his mother was an avid tennis player. Luke started training in judo when he was 6 years old but quit upon turning ten. When he entered the seventh grade, he joined his school's wrestling team and stuck with the sport all through Soquel High School while taking jiu-jitsu classes.
Rockhold tried wrestling for a local community college but he felt the sport wasn't for him and instead took jiu-jitsu on full-time. He experimented more with jiu-jitsu and began to find this gentle art complimented his long flexible body and style. After winning a few BJJ tournaments, he decided to wander into mixed martial arts. In 2006, a friend invited Rockhold to train at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California. His raw talent and kicking displays immediately caught the eye of AKA head coach Javier Mendez, who touted Rockhold as a potential future champion.
Mixed martial arts career
In July 2007, Rockhold made his professional debut against Mike Martinez for the Melee on the Mountain promotion. Rockhold dominated the fight and won via armbar submission midway through the first round. He had his second fight for the promotion in November 2007. It was not as successful as the first as Rockhold was defeated by Tony Rubalcava via TKO.
Up and coming promotion, Strikeforce called and offered Rockhold a fight on their Strikeforce: Young Guns II card. Rockhold looked impressive in his debut, forcing his opponent to submit from punches. Impressed with his performance, Strikeforce decided to give him another fight. The second fight took place on the Strikeforce: Destruction card, where Rockhold won via submission. At Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz, Rockhold won his third consecutive fight. Rockhold was given a step up in competition when he fought Cory Devela at Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg. Even though he was the underdog going into the fight, he won that fight in just 30 seconds with his third rear-naked choke submission in a row.
At Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Evangelista, Rockhold defeated The Ultimate Fighter 7 contestant, Jesse Taylor. The fight improved his record to 5–0 under the Strikeforce banner. In February 2010, Rockhold defeated another Ultimate Fighter 7 finalist, Paul Bradley, and won via TKO (knees to the body). The fight took place at Strikeforce Challengers: Kaufman vs. Hashi in San Jose, California. With the win, Rockhold hoped to fight against tougher and well-known fighters. In addition to the win, Rockhold was announced as a playable character for the EA Sports MMA video game. Rockhold was scheduled to fight Matt Lindland at Strikeforce: San Jose but pulled out a few weeks before the fight due to a shoulder injury. Rockhold was expected to face former title contender, Tim Kennedy, at Strikeforce 32  however, due to unknown reasons, Rockhold was removed from the bout.
Winning the middleweight title and subsequent title defenses
After more than a year and a half hiatus from fighting due to injuries, Rockhold stepped into the cage to fight Strikeforce Middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza on September 10, 2011. He won the fight via unanimous decision to become the new Strikeforce Middleweight champion. For his first title defense, Rockhold faced Keith Jardine at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine on January 7, 2012. Rockhold won the fight via TKO in the first round.
In his second title defense, Rockhold faced Tim Kennedy in the main event of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on July 14, 2012. During the weigh-ins for the bout on July 13, Rockhold came in a half-pound overweight. Rockhold cut the extra weight in the allotted two-hour limit. He successfully defended his title for a second time, winning the fight via unanimous decision.
For his third title defense, Rockhold was expected to face challenger Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir on November 3, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. However, Rockhold was forced to withdraw from the show due to injury and the event was later cancelled. The fight was rumored to be rescheduled on January 12, 2013. however, Rockhold never agreed upon the bout citing a lingering shoulder injury.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In January 2013, the Strikeforce organization was closed by its parent company Zuffa. A list of fighters scheduled to be brought over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship was released in mid-January and Rockhold was one of the fighters listed.
Rockhold faced perennial multi-divisional contender Vitor Belfort on May 18, 2013 in the main event at UFC on FX 8. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round, after being caught with a spinning heel kick to the face.
Rockhold was expected to face Tim Boetsch on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166. However, Rockhold was forced out of the bout citing a knee injury and was replaced by C.B. Dollaway. Rockhold faced Costas Philippou on January 15, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 35. He won via TKO in the first round after dropping Philippou with a kick to the body. The performance also earned Rockhold a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus. Rockhold eventually faced Tim Boetsch on April 26, 2014 at UFC 172. He won the fight via submission in the first round.
Rockhold faced Michael Bisping on November 8, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 55. He won the fight in the second round after dropping Bisping with a head kick and then applying a guillotine choke submission. The win earned Rockhold his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
On April 18, 2015, Rockhold faced former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 15. Rockhold defeated Machida in a one-sided fight via submission in the second round. Rockhold also earned his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus award.
Winning the UFC middleweight title
Rockhold next faced Chris Weidman for the UFC Middleweight Championship on December 12, 2015 at UFC 194. In the third round, after a competitive first two rounds, Rockhold capitalised on a missed Weidman wheel kick by taking him down into the back mount and passed to full mount where he delivered heavy ground and pound to the champion. Weidman was able to make it to the end of the round but had sustained heavy cuts and damage from Rockhold's ground and pound. In the fourth round, Rockhold kept pressing with punches and secured a successful take-down and after passing into full mount, delivered more ground and pound to win the fight via TKO in the fourth round and became the 7th middleweight champion in UFC history, thereby ending Weidman's undefeated reign in the UFC. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors. Being a Santa Cruz native and becoming the UFC Middleweight Champion, his hometown Santa Cruz, California, proclaimed December 18, as "Luke Rockhold Day" crediting his victory.
Losing the UFC middleweight title
A rematch with Weidman was scheduled to take place on June 4, 2016 at UFC 199. However, Weidman pulled out of the fight on May 17 with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Michael Bisping. His title match against Bisping ended in the first round at the 3:36 mark when Rockhold was dropped with a left hook and finished with a flurry of punches against the cage. This result was considered by many MMA medias as one of the biggest upsets in the UFC title fight history, Bisping being a huge underdog because he took the fight in only 17 days and was submitted by Rockhold 18 months earlier. 
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Rockhold draws his fight inspiration from very different hobbies mainly surfing and skateboarding. He claims to have a surf-skate stance rather than a boxing stance.
He holds a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and spars at American Kickboxing Academy with UFC champions Daniel Cormier (LHW champion), Cain Velasquez (former HW champion), Ruslan Magomedov and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||15 wins||3 losses|
|Loss||15–3||Michael Bisping||KO (punches)||UFC 199||June 4, 2016||1||3:36||Inglewood, California, United States||Lost the UFC Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||15–2||Chris Weidman||TKO (punches)||UFC 194||December 12, 2015||4||3:12||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won the UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||14–2||Lyoto Machida||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold||April 18, 2015||2||2:31||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||13–2||Michael Bisping||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping||November 8, 2014||2||0:57||Sydney, Australia||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||12–2||Tim Boetsch||Submission (inverted triangle kimura)||UFC 172||April 26, 2014||1||2:08||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|Win||11–2||Costas Philippou||TKO (body kick)||UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou||January 15, 2014||1||2:31||Duluth, Georgia, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Loss||10–2||Vitor Belfort||KO (spinning heel kick and punches)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold||May 18, 2013||1||2:32||Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil|
|Win||10–1||Tim Kennedy||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy||July 14, 2012||5||5:00||Portland, Oregon, United States||Defended the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||9–1||Keith Jardine||TKO (punches)||Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine||January 7, 2012||1||4:26||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||8–1||Ronaldo Souza||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov||September 10, 2011||5||5:00||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States||Won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||7–1||Paul Bradley||TKO (knees to the body)||Strikeforce Challengers: Kaufman vs. Hashi||February 26, 2010||1||2:24||San Jose, California, United States|
|Win||6–1||Jesse Taylor||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Evangelista||November 6, 2009||1||3:42||Fresno, California, United States|
|Win||5–1||Cory Devela||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg||June 19, 2009||1||0:30||Kent, Washington, United States|
|Win||4–1||Buck Meredith||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz||April 11, 2009||1||4:07||San Jose, California, United States|
|Win||3–1||Nik Theotikos||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce: Destruction||November 21, 2008||1||3:06||San Jose, California, United States|
|Win||2–1||Josh Neal||Submission (punches)||Strikeforce: Young Guns II||February 1, 2008||1||1:49||San Jose, California, United States|
|Loss||1–1||Tony Rubalcava||TKO (punches)||MotM: Melee on the Mountain||November 6, 2007||1||2:46||Friant, California, United States|
|Win||1–0||Mike Martinez||Submission (armbar)||MotM: Melee on the Mountain||July 24, 2007||1||2:44||Friant, California, United States|
- "Fight Card - UFC 172 Jones vs. Teixeira". UFC.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Luke Rockhold - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- Gile (April 24, 2014). "Luke Rockhold JiuJitsu". bjjee.com.
- "MIXED MARTIAL ARTS SHOW RESULTS - HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO, LAS VEGAS" (PDF). Nevada Athletic Commission. January 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "Fighter Rankings - UFC ®". UFC.
- "Sherdog's Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". sherdog.com. December 13, 2015.
- "Sherdog.com’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10". sherdog.com.
- "Fight Matrix | Current MMA Rankings » Pound for Pound". www.fightmatrix.com. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- "UFC’s Luke Rockhold rip it up on a skateboard". prommanov.com.
- Rockhold, Luke (2014-10-25). "Luke Rockhold's verified Twitter account". Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- "Exclusive Interview with Strikeforce’s Luke Rockhold in Sacramento Examiner". Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- "Santa Cruz's Luke Rockhold". Retrieved 2015-07-14.
- "Strikeforce Challengers Tonight: Luke Rockhold On The Past, Future and Working With Herschel". Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- Michael David Smith. "Luke Rockhold Shows Why He's One of Strikeforce's Top Prospects".
- "Strikeforce middleweight prospect Luke Rockhold latest addition to "EA Sports MMA" roster".
- Mike Chiappetta. "Lindland-Rockhold Match Scratched Due to Injury; Woodley-Galvao Added".
- Strikeforce official for March 5 in Ohio, four main-card bouts set | MMAjunkie.com
- "Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza Defends Strikeforce Title Against Luke Rockhold on Sept 10". cdn.mmaweekly.com.
- Michael David Smith (September 11, 2011). "Luke Rockhold Upsets Jacare for Strikeforce Middleweight Title". MMAFighting.com.
- "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine". strikeforce.com. 2011-12-08.
- "Luke Rockhold Expected to Face Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce on Nov 3". MMA Weekly. September 4, 2012.
- Stupp, Dann (2012-10-12). "Strikeforce cancels Nov. 3 event in Oklahoma City, plans January return". MMAjunkie.com.
- "Luke Rockhold-Lorenz Larkin middleweight title fight targeted for Jan. 12 Strikeforce event". MMA Junkie. November 7, 2012.
- "UFC Reveals List of Strikeforce Fighters Making Jump to Octagon". sherdog.com. January 16, 2013.
- "'UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold' set for May 18 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil". mmajunkie.com. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- Joe Rocha (2013-05-18). "Vitor Belfort puts out Luke Rockhold in Brazil". cagedinsider.com. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "Tim Boetsch vs. Luke Rockhold slated for UFC 166 in Houston". MMAjunkie.com. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Staff (2013-09-18). "Luke Rockhold out, C.B. Dollaway meets Tim Boetsch at UFC 166". MMAJunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- "UFC Fight Night 35 in Georgia adds Luke Rockhold-Constantinos Philippou as main event". mmajunkie.com. 2013-11-17. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- John Morgan (2014-01-15). "UFC Fight Night 35 results, photos: Luke Rockhold body kick stops Costas Philippou in first". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "UFC Fight Night 35 Bonuses: Rockhold, Miller, Romero, Brunson Earn $50K Awards". Sherdog.
- Matt Erickson (2014-02-04). "Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Boetsch set for UFC 172 in Baltimore". mmajunkie. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- Josh Sanchez (2014-04-26). "UFC 172 results: Luke Rockhold submits Tim Boetsch in Round 1". fansided.com. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
- "Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold set for Nov. 8 in Australia". mmajunkie. 2014-09-05. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- Steven Muehlhausen (2014-11-08). "UFC Fight Night 55: Luke Rockhold becomes the first man to submit Michael Bisping". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
- "UFC Fight Night 55 bonuses: Rockhold, Smolka, Whittaker, Hester win $50,000". mmajunkie.com. 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
- Ariel Helwani (2015-01-08). "Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold targeted for UFC on FOX 15". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
- Steven Marrocco (2015-04-18). "UFC on FOX 15 results: Luke Rockhold submits Lyoto Machida in dominant performance". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
- Karim Kidan (2015-04-18). "UFC on FOX 15 bonuses: Rockhold pockets $50,000 for submission win against Machida". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
- "Tim Kennedy on Luke Rockhold". mmafrenzy.com. April 30, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- "Champ Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold co-headlines UFC 194 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
- Steven Marocco (2015-12-13). "UFC 194 results: Luke Rockhold dominates Chris Weidman to win middleweight title". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
- Tristen Critchfield (2015-12-13). "UFC 194 bonuses: McGregor, Rockhold, Weidman, Santos capture $50K awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
- "December 18th officially ‘Luke Rockhold Day’ in Santa Cruz". bjpenn.com. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
- Staff (2016-03-04). "Rockhold-Weidman 2, Cruz-Faber 3 headline UFC 199 on June 4 at The Forum in L.A.". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- Ariel Helwani (2016-05-17). "Chris Weidman out of UFC 199; promotion looking for replacement". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- Marc Raimondi (2016-05-18). "Michael Bisping in to face Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 with Chris Weidman out". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- Steven Marrocco (2016-06-05). "UFC 199 results: Michael Bisping knocks out Luke Rockhold in first to win middleweight title". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- Snowden, Jonathan. "How Michael Bisping Shocked Luke Rockhold, MMA World". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
- Schlinsky, Alex (2016-06-05). "UFC 199 results: Biggest winners, losers from 'Rockhold vs Bisping 2' last night in California". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
- Patrick Stumberg (2015-12-25). "Top 5 UFC/MMA fighters of 2015". mmamania.com.
- Garrett Derr (2014-12-23). "The MMA Corner's 2014 MMA Awards". themmacorner.com.
- Sean Sheehan (2014-12-23). "The 2014 SevereMMA Irish and International Awards". severemma.com.
- "The First Annual TuffGnarl.com MMA Awards". tuffgnarl.com. 2014-12-24.
- "Submission of the Week". ufc.com. 2015-04-10.
- "Sherdog.com’s 2015 All-Violence Team". Sherdog. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- Breen Jordan (2014-12-30). "The 2014 Submission of the year". sherdog.com.
- "Sherdog.com’s 2014 All-Violence Team". Sherdog. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "fightmatrix.com’s 2015 Upset of the Year". FightMatrix. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "fightmatrix.com’s 2015 Noteworthy Match of the Year". FightMatrix. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- "UFC 194 video: Luke Rockhold shows off his 'Signature Moves'". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
- "Fightland". Unscripted. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Luke Rockhold knocks out Chris Weidman to win UFC middleweight title". Yahoo!Sports. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
|5th Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
September 10, 2011 – January 12, 2013
Strikeforce banner dissolved into UFC
|7th UFC Middleweight Champion
December 12, 2015 – June 4, 2016