Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) announced Monday night that he herniated a disc in his back and won’t be able to make the walk at UFC 268 on Nov. 6 for his return. It’s unknown if Strickland will remain on the card, but the rising middleweight contender said that, based on their recent history, he saw Rockhold’s withdrawal coming.
“He was never going to make it to the fight lmao…no one is surprised,” Strickland wrote on Instagram.
Strickland (24-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), who briefly trained with Rockhold at RVCA Training Center at Costa Mesa, Calif., said he got the best of the former UFC middleweight champion in a sparring session, thus why he expected him to pull out of the fight.
“I sparred him once and almost put him out…didn’t even spar the second round, walked out of the gym lmao…I knew this wasn’t happening,” he wrote.
Rockhold and Strickland have been jawing back-and-forth for a while now. After Rockhold was critical of some of Strickland’s recent controversial remarks, Strickland fired back by saying he would “take a misdemeanor charge” just to smack him.
Several fighters have already offered to replace Rockhold, including Brendan Allen, who’s only octagon setback is a TKO loss to Strickland in November 2020.
Put me in coach https://t.co/uC6M1cOKBi
— Brendan Allen (@BrendanAllenMMA) October 12, 2021
“Put me in coach.”