LOS ANGELES --- Six weeks ago UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold revealed that he'd torn his MCL, and posted a video of him sparring at the American Kickboxing Academy with a large knee brace on. None of us really noticed that announcement, for whatever reason.
When Rockhold repeated that he'd injured his knee ligament on Thursday during the UFC 199 press conference, however, the MMA world most certainly did notice. Tweets abounded and my colleague Damon Martin told me that even betting lines for him vs. Michael Bisping began to change afterwards.
"I tore my MCL," Rockhold said, after nearly an hour of Bisping pestering him, claiming that he'd turned down a fight against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Bisping was suggesting that he was the only guy at middleweight with the guts to fight injured and Rockhold eventually had enough, letting the listening world know that he has been and will continue to be injured tomorrow night at UFC 199.
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Rockhold also said that he had not grappled or kicked much at all during his training camp because of his injured knee.
A video posted by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on
Fighting with serious injuries is nothing unusual for fighters, of course, or new for Rockhold. In fact, both he and opponent Chris Weidman went into their UFC 194 title fight last December seriously impared -- Rockhold with an infection, and Weidman with a broken foot.
So, while the defending middleweight champion announcing that he is injured and wasn't able to train some major parts of the sport is certainly significant, we can't know what type of impact it will or won't have on Saturday's fight.