Not only were Luke Rockhold’s  plans to lock-up a fight with Jon Jones brutally sidetracked by Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239, Dana White’s reporting the star broke his jaw. In addition, the UFC President has relayed he thinks the former middleweight champ should walk away from fighting.
Heading into Rockhold’s Octagon, 205 debut, the consensus was that if he took out Blachowicz, he’d be next for the light-heavyweight king, Jones (provided Jones beat Thiago Santos, which he did via split decision). But, it was Blachowicz who scored the emphatic victory , as he put away Rockhold in round two with a series of booming punches.
After the card, White was asked to weigh-in on Rockhold’s future, and he said this (quotes via MMA Junkie ):
“I think Luke Rockhold should talk about hanging it up,” White said. “He broke his jaw tonight. That’s his second broken jaw, he’s been knocked out viciously a few times here, his shin is all banged up, he had to have skin graphs and all kinds of stuff. He’s had a good career. He’s been a great fighter. I’d like to see him hang it up.”
“He’s got another career, he’s got a second career,” White said. “Everyone’s a (expletive) model, right? ‘I’m a model, I’m a model.’ That guy’s actually really modeling for Ralph Lauren. So, good for him.”
If Rockhold does have a broken jaw, then the 34-year-old will be sidelined for a while. Especially since he’s broken his jaw before.
Will the accomplished fighter retire though? It’s hard to say. Prior to UFC 239, Rockhold talked extensively about how good he felt, not having to cut to 185 any longer. So, maybe Rockhold will decide to give it another go. Or, like many fighters aspire to do, he might decide he wants to retire after a win, rather than a highlight reel loss.
That said, Rockhold does have another gig, as White alluded to, and he’s also talked about the fact he doesn’t need to fight for money. So, when you consider Rockhold’s been KO’d in three of his last four fights, maybe he’ll call it a wrap on his decade-plus career. By the time he’s ready to fight again, Rockhold will be 35.