Sean Strickland is not surprised to hear Luke Rockhold has withdrawn from their fight which was supposed to take place at UFC 268 on November 6.

The former UFC middleweight champion announced on Monday night that he is out of his fight with 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.”

Sean Strickland Says He Knew Luke Rockhold Would Pull Out

“He was never going to make it to the fight lmao, Strickland wrote on Instagram. “no one is surprised. I sparred him one and almost put him out.. didn’t even spar the second round, walked out of the gym lmao.. I knew this wasn’t happening”

As of right now, it is unclear if Strickland will receive an alternative opponent for UFC 268. The 30-year-old has strung together four straight wins since making the move from welterweight to middleweight. Most recently, he picked up a lopsided decision victory over long-time 185lb contender, Uriah Hall. Gilbert Burns has volunteered to step in for the outgoing Rockhold.

“Middle weight nov 06? Sign me in I fight Strickland and I meant it,” Burns wrote on Twitter on Monday evening.

Rockhold hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Jan Blachowicz in July 2019. The 36-year-old flirted with the idea of retirement before re-committing himself to MMA. Rockhold has lost three of his last four fights and is without a win since 2017.

Who do you want to see Sean Strickland fight at UFC 268?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.