Luke Rockhold will not be making his return to the octagon at Madison Square Garden after all.
Former middleweight champion Rockhold announced on his Instagram Monday night that he is out of his fight with Sean Strickland.
“There’s no easy way to really say it, but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold said on his Instagram story. “I ended up herniating a disc in my back. L4, L5. The docs say it’s nothing I can play with. I need to do some treatment and recovery time. Some things just aren’t meant to be. New York, motherf*cking New York. I’m sorry to the friends and the peeps and everyone, but we’ll be back. Until next time.”
Rockhold (16-5) has been out of action since his knockout loss at UFC 239. Rockhold made his light heavyweight debut but was knocked out in the second round against current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. He broke his jaw in the loss. Before his most recent loss, he was knocked out by Yoel Romero at UFC 221 in an interim title fight.
The former middleweight champion is riding the first two-fight losing streak of his illustrious career.
It’s unknown at this time if the UFC will look for a replacement opponent for Strickland or if the matchup will be postponed for another day.
Strickland (24-3) is riding a five-fight win streak and has been on fire since returning to middleweight. He most recently competed in his first UFC main event, where he defeated long-time UFC veteran Uriah Hall.
UFC 268 will take at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 6, a week after the UFC’s return to fight island. There will be back-to-back numbered events.
The event will feature two title fight rematches atop the card.
So far, the second to last pay-per-view of the year looks like this:
- Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington II – for the welterweight title
- Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili II – for the strawweight title
- Justin Gathje vs. Michael Chandler
- Irene Aldana vs. TBD
- Frankie Edgar vs. Marlon Vera
- Sean Strickland vs. TBD
- Al Iaquinta vs. Bobby Green
- Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Nassourdine Imavov
- Aleksa Camur vs. John Allan
- Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. TJ Laramie
- Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo
- Alex Pereira vs. Andreas Michailidis
- CJ Vergara vs. Ode’ Osbourne
- Jordan Williams vs. Ian Garry
Who do you think will replace Luke Rockhold at UFC 268?