Luke Rockhold is one of the most talented middleweights the UFC has ever seen, but he had decided to make a switch to his usual fight preparations.
Rockhold was on a nine fight win streak at one point in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career before suffering a brutal first round knockout to former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort via spinning heel kick back in 2013. He then went on a five fight win streak, in which he finished each of those fights, before suffering a first round knockout loss to current division champion Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 199 back in June of last year, losing his 185-pound title. He has been expected to return to the Octagon multiple times since, however, a number of injuries have kept him away.
The California native has typically conducted his training camps in San Jose with American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), where he has training partners such as the undefeated lightweight powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, and former light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
He is currently expected to headline UFC Fight Night 116 against former World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) middleweight champion David Branch on September 16th from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Instead of preparing at AKA, however, Rockhold has made the decision to hold his preparations in Florida with Henri Hooft.
Rockhold took to his Instagram account to release a statement on the matter, claiming AKA will always be his home but he feels due to recent injuries to his key training partners, he needs to move to Florida for training camp:
"American Kickboxing Academy will always be my home. Due to the injuries and inactivity to our key guys. My team and I have decided it best I prepare for this fight in Florida. All the usual suspects will be in my corner with the addition of @henrihooft .
"I'd like to thank Henri, Kami Barzini, Greg Jones and all my teammates here in Florida for helping me prepare for this fight. September 16th we ride."
Currently, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is set to defend his title against former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 217 this November. After that, the winner is expected to defend their title against interim champ Robbert Whittaker. With two middleweight title bouts locked up for the foreseeable future, it will be a long rode back to the title for Rockhold.
What are your thoughts on Rockhold moving his training camp over to Florida instead of AKA? Have YOUR say in the comments section below!
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