Luke Rockhold was vocal throughout UFC 278 fight week that he wasn’t happy with Dana White and the UFC over a variety of comments.
It caught many by surprise as this was Rockhold’s first fight in three years, and he sure let everyone know his thoughts. In the fight, he lost a decision to Paulo Costa in a fun fight in a scrap both men appeared to wobble each other. After the loss, Rockhold announced his retirement from the sport. On Wednesday, he was on The MMA Hour and explained why he was mad at White.
Luke Rockhold Opens Up About His Anger at Dana White
“It’s f*cked up,” Rockhold said about Dana White.
“It’s f*cked up to say, ‘Why do you think I’m so mad at Dana?’ Because Dana never gave me a chance. From the moment I came in the UFC, he never gave me a f*cking chance. Wrote me off, never highlighted my years in Strikeforce or anything I did on the wins, only my losses.
Dana White controls the narrative of what the public perceives,” Rockhold continued. “And you know, it’s like, he f*cked me from the start. It took me 16, 17 years to come back into a fight like that to earn my respect. Nothing I did in the past mattered till now? Alright. That’s why I feel the way I feel sometimes, you know? And that’s why I say the things I say. You got to understand the power that you have in that situation, the narrative that you create. The public believes what they want to believe and what you tell them to believe.”
Rockhold is also not the first former Strikeforce fighter to have similar comments. When the UFC bought Strikeforce, many thought White and the UFC didn’t want them to have success. Rockhold, ultimately went on to win the UFC middleweight title, but he believes the promotion didn’t make it easy, even making him fight a juiced-up Vitor Belfort in his debut.
“They made me go down to ‘steroid-ville’ in f*cking Brazil and fight Vitor,” Rockhold said. “Everybody else got respect and was going into world championship fights and consideration for. I got nothing, you know? Two-time defending Strikeforce champion coming in there, and (it was like) you haven’t done sh*t. Had to go fight Vitor when they know what they were doing back then protecting him. Motherf*cker was juiced to the gills. Had to get cleaned by him and knocked down, belittled by everybody, and then build myself back up. I’m good at building myself back up.”