The 38-year-old veteran made his commentary debut on Saturday at Karate Combat, where he touched on a few things including a potential fight with “Poatan.” Rockhold says he would “kill” Alex Pereira on the ground. Rockhold’s confidence in a potential matchup with Alex Pereira likely stems from his grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu accolades. He is a black belt under Leandro Vieira and Dave Camaril. Rockhold won the UFC middle
Luke Rockhold: “Any day with Pereira.
Give me 10 seconds on the ground. I’ll f***ing kill that motherf***er. – Former UFC Middleweight Champion @LukeRockhold on a potential matchup with @AlexPereiraUFC – full story coming to @Cagesidepress 📝 pic.twitter.com/srvaePTOJ5
— Dylan Rush (@rushmma11) June 24, 2023
Rockhold said Alex Pereira’s title win would inspire him to return
This isn’t the first time Rockhold brought up a potential bout against Alex Pereira. In an interview with Submission Radio last September shortly after his UFC retirement, Rockhold stated that a title win for the Brazilian may inspire him to make a comeback.
“That Brazilian dude winning the title. Alex Pereira,” he said when asked what could inspire him to return. “He’s gonna have every wrestler in the f—ng game just champing at the bit to get that guy. ‘Let’s go, let’s get the free belt!’”
Rockhold did come out of retirement and made his bare-knuckle debut at BKFC 41 in April against fellow UFC alum Mike Perry. He lost via second-round TKO and ended the night with mangled teeth.
What the future looks like for Luke Rockhold and Alex Pereira
After an unsuccessful bare-knuckle boxing debut, Rockhold has his sights set on another realm of prizefighting. As he told BloodyElbow in an exclusive interview, a Karate Combat run could be a possibility.
“It would be good to get back to my kicks. I think that’s more me. Bare knuckle was, you know, I’m in an exploration time right now and just doing things that are fun, that excite me.
“Being a part of a promotion like this [KC] and it’s just intriguing. I like it, so you never know.”
For Rockhold, a rematch with Lyoto Machida under Karate Combat rules would make sense. The two first fought in 2015 where Rockhold won via rear-naked choke in the second round.
“I didn’t really need a submission the last time I fought Machida, haha. I think that was the ground and pound. To my understanding, you still have ground and pound.
“Five-seconds? That’s all I need… I’m not opposed to it.”
As for Alex Pereira, he’s making his light heavyweight debut against former champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291. But for fellow 205-pounders like veteran Anthony Smith, Pereira may not do as well against the top-tier competitors, especially against current champion Jamahal Hill.
“I think he can do well, for sure. He’s going to have a tough time with some of the top guys, just with his skill set. But just in pure striking matches, I think he can do well,” Smith said.
“I think Jan Blachowicz is a pretty tough matchup, if I’m being honest. I think it’s a really tough matchup. Yeah, I do [think Pereira loses that].
“I think Jamahal Hill beats him too. “It’s a matchup thing, though. It’s a matchup thing. There’s a lot of guys at light heavyweight that he’ll beat and could look really great doing it. Jan Blachowicz is tough.”
UFC 291 happens on July 29 in Utah, where Blachowicz and Pereira will serve as the co-headliners. At the top of the bill is a lightweight rematch between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, with the vacant BMF title on the line.