Graphic Images: Gruesome Leg Injury Sidelines Luke Rockhold

Photo: Stewart Allen for USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold won’t be returning to the octagon anytime soon.

Rockhold was rumored to be moving up to light heavyweight for a bout with two-time title contender Alexander Gustafsson at August’s UFC 227, but according to a report from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, a leg injury has postponed his return after he was brutally knocked out by Yoel Romero in his last bout at March’s UFC 221.

Rockhold reportedly re-injured the leg in training last week. He posted a gruesome video showing the stitches he received via Helwani on social media, putting his expected return in October at the earliest:

Gruesome to be sure, and a second video of the graphic scene detailed the stitching even further:

Rockhold took an injured left knee – the same leg which he’s getting stitched in the above videos – into his fight with Michael Bisping at June 2016’s UFC 199, a bout that is still considered one of one of the biggest upsets in mixed martial arts history when ‘The Count’ knocked him out in the first frame to become one of the more unlikely champions the UFC has ever seen.

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Helwani said he reinjured the leg last week, although it appears this is a shin injury based on the videos shown.

Since losing to Bisping, Rockhold took over a year off to heal from the aforementioned knee injury and returned to defeat former WSOF two-division champ David Branch last September to earn a title shot at champ Robert Whittaker, who was forced out of their fight with his own long list of ailments.

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Romero replaced him and stopped Rockhold, after which the former AKA standout said he was considering a move up to 205 pounds due to the draining weight cut to middleweight. That move will have to wait, at least for now.