Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is set for his combat sports return, and he’ll be taking off the gloves to box against a fellow UFC veteran.
Rockhold is going to Bare Knuckle FC and will make his debut in the main event of BKFC 41 against Mike Perry at 185 pounds. The event takes place April 29 in Denver and airs live on BKFC.tv pay-per-view. BKFC president David Feldman officially announced the matchup Wednesday on “The MMA Hour.”
Rockhold, 38, exited the UFC following his appearance at UFC 278, where he came up on the wrong end of the judges’ scorecards in an all-out Fight of the Night war against Paulo Costa. Rockhold requested his release from the promotion after the bout, which was approved, therefore opening him up to other opportunities.
Rockhold fought 11 times under the UFC banner, including capturing the middleweight title by defeating Chris Weidman at UFC 194. Now he will continue his combat sports career away from mixed martial arts.
Perry, 31, is familiar with gloveless competition. The 15-fight UFC veteran has competed twice under the BKFC banner. In 2022, Perry picked up a unanimous decision win over Julian Lane at BKFC Knucklemania 2 and a majority decision win over Michael Page at BKFC 27.