Ex-UFC star Luke Rockhold signs with Karate Combat, set to fight Joe Schilling in April debut in Dubai

Luke Rockhold signs with Karate Combat set to fight Joe Schilling in April debut in Dubai

Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion continues his combat sports career outside of the Octagon following a recent venture to bare knuckle fighting – this time penning a deal to compete under the Karate Combat banner against kickboxing talent, Joe Schilling in an April 20. debut in Dubai.

Rockhold, a former undisputed middleweight titleholder under both the UFC and the now-defunct Strikeforce banner, has been sidelined from combat sports since he suffered a second round TKO loss to fellow Octagon alum, Mike Perry back in April of last year in his debut with BKFC.

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As for Schilling, the former Bellator MMA kickboxer and mixed martial artist has been sidelined from combat sports since a 2019 knockout loss to Tony Johnson at Bellator 229 – with his record slumping to 4-6 as a professional.

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Luke Rockhold signs with Karate Combat, booked for April debut

And according to a report from MMA Junkie this Wednesday evening, Luke Rockhold will make his return to combat sports alongside Ohio striker, Joe Schilling – with the duo headlining a Karate Combat card on April 20. in Dubai. 

Making his most recent Octagon outing back in 2022, Luke Rockhold suffered his third consecutive defeat in the form of a unanimous decision loss to former title challenger, Paulo Costa, before confirming his decision to retire from MMA in the immediate aftermath.

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Luke Rockhold

During his tenure with the promotion, Santa Cruz native, Rockhold landed the middleweight title with an eventual fourth round ground strikes TKO win over Chris Weidman back in 2015.

Rockhold’s most recent victory in mixed martial arts came in the form of a second round strikes to submission win over David Branch in the pair’s UFC Fight Night Pittsburg main event fight back in 2017. 

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Mandatory Credit: Bellator MMA

Back in 2013, the above-mentioned Schilling won the GLORY Kickboxing middleweight World Champion Tournament with a decision win over Russian striker ace, Artem Levin.

Who wins in their Karate Combat showdown: Luke Rockhold or Joe Schilling?