Luke Rockhold - Photo by Mazdak Cavian/MMAnytt

Michael Bisping: Luke Rockhold Might ‘Disappear From the Public Eye’ Following Loss at UFC 221

Michael Bisping says he doesn't see Luke Rockhold returning to action any time soon following this latest setback to Yoel Romero at UFC 221

Luke Rockhold suffered a second knockout loss in his past three fights when he was clobbered by a left hand courtesy of Yoel Romero at UFC 221 this past weekend.

A win would have made Rockhold the interim middleweight champion with a showdown against 185-pound king Robert Whittaker lined up for later this year. Unforturnately a loss puts Rockhold in a strange position as he’s gone just 1-2 in his past three fights while only competing three times since defeating Chris Weidman to become champion back in 2015.

Former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who defeated Rockhold to win the belt in 2016, saw his former rival largely drop out of the spotlight for over a year following their fight and the same thing might happen this time around as well.

While the loss certainly puts Rockhold further back in line for another shot at the UFC middleweight title, he’s also started to put more attention into his career away from the Octagon as he’s started to cobble together a lucrative portfolio in modeling as well.

It all adds up to Bisping seeing another extended break in Rockhold’s future following the knockout loss to Romero at UFC 221.

“You’ve got to remember, when I beat [Luke] Rockhold, he kind of disappeared for a while and he looked very, very upset. Of course, Luke is an amazing fighter and feels like he should be champion. He lost that tonight,” Bisping said on Saturday night.

“I think he’s going to go away from the sport for a little while. I don’t mean retire but disappear from the public eye. Take six months off and reset.”

Of course, Rockhold has famously been at odds with UFC president Dana White in the past as well when criticizing the direction of the middleweight division when Bisping was scheduled to face Georges St-Pierre last year.

It appeared that whatever beef was there had been squashed as Rockhold was then lined up for a title shot at UFC 221 but now that he’s suffered a defeat there’s no telling what comes next for him.

Rockhold has teased a potential move to light heavyweight so perhaps that will interest him now that he’s likely out of the title picture at middleweight for at least the remainder of 2018.

For his part, Rockhold hasn’t said much since the loss to Romero outside of paying credit to his opponent for a job well done in their matchup in Australia.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.