Luke Rockhold Withdraws from UFC 268 Due to Herniated Disc in Back

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 12, 2021

Luke Rockhold’s comeback fight will have to wait.

The former middleweight champion announced Monday on his Instagram story that a herniated disc in his back has forced him to withdraw from a proposed clash against Sean Strickland at UFC 268.

“There’s no easy way to really say it, but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold said. “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—-ing New York. I’m sorry to the friends and the peeps and everyone, but we’ll be back. Until next time.”

Rockhold hasn’t competed since a second-round knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 239 in July 2019. He was planning to return to 185 pounds for his clash against Strickland at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 6. It’s unclear at this time if Strickland will remain on the card against a replacement opponent. UFC 268 is headlined by a welterweight championship rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

Rockhold, who is also a former Strikeforce title holder, has lost three of his last four UFC appearances dating back to June 2016.

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