Morning Report: Daniel Cormier implores Luke Rockhold ‘don’t come back’ out of retirement


Daniel Cormier isn’t on board with a Luke Rockhold return.

UFC 278 this past August was an emotional night for the pair of former teammates and multi-time world champions. Cormier got to call the last fight of one of his best friend’s careers and it left a lasting impression on fans around the globe.

In the co-main event of the evening, Rockhold went to war with Brazilian knockout artist Paulo Costa. The Santa Cruz, California native performed valiantly despite coming up short via unanimous decision. It wound up being the first and only Fight of the Night bonus the former middleweight champion earned in his 11-fight run with the promotion. Rockhold retired in the cage immediately after the bout, declaring he was “too old for this s***” when speaking to Joe Rogan.

Earlier this week, Rockhold revealed that a potential Alex Pereira title win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 would be the one thing that could pull him out of retirement.

“Luke, don’t come back,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “It’s only been a few weeks and it was absolutely perfect. It couldn’t be better. Because Luke Rockhold has been the guy that has not been loved, but in that performance, he gained the praise of the masses. Not only did he gain the praise of the masses though, he gained the praise of his opponent in the competition. Paulo Costa came up to me a week later and told me how special it was to share the Octagon with Luke.

“Luke, don’t come back. It’s fine. Go do jiu-jitsu if you want to. Go to ADCC.”

While Cormier and Rockhold’s careers ended in relatively different fashions, they both went out on losing streaks. In “DC’s” case, he suffered back-to-back title fight defeats in his rivalry with Stipe Miocic before hanging up the gloves in Aug. 2020. Rockhold, 37, lost three straight over the course of four years.

Now in the UFC Hall of Fame, Cormier, 43, has never come close to making a return to action. Regardless, he understands why it happens as often as it does in MMA.

“The reality is this,” Cormier said. “Part of the thing about retiring is you miss the rush of being in front of all of those people and it shows itself when you’re by yourself. When he’s by himself and he’s with his dogs and those thoughts start to creep in, ‘I can still do this.’ Especially on those days when you feel good, you forget about how bad you feel in there. You gotta fight the urge. We all get it.

“No, man. We can’t. I can’t. Maybe Luke can with some time away, but I would advise for him to stay away. Don’t go back, especially not now. We’re still kind of riding the wave of what was in Utah.”

Rockhold’s last win came in Sept. 2017 and was the only he earned after dropping the title the year prior. Ahead of his final UFC appearance, he started to make a lot of noise, speaking on fighter rights and the often discussed pay issues. Even though he’d not found himself in the winners’ circle for a significant period of time, Rockhold vs. Costa had arguably more buzz than one of his fights had garnered since perhaps his Michael Bisping rivalry.

Then he went and left fans with his wild blood-smearing in the face of Costa in the waning seconds of UFC 278’s co-main event. That moment alone was enough to act as a moral Rockhold win for many of the maniacs interested in hand-to-hand combat.

“He was universally loved after that last fight,” Cormier said. “And if you get that, especially when it isn’t something you get all the time, you may want to go and recreate that. Because you start thinking, ‘Well, that’s my reality.’ But is it? You don’t know.”


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Between the Links.

Mackenzie Dern: ‘You Should Always Put Your Dreams as a Priority’

UFC Vegas 61 top fighter finishes.

Zhang in Thailand.

An unforgettable UFC 100.

Patricio Pitbull’s submission archive.

Top 5 Chimaev opponents at 185.

Happy Kev.



Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Bo Nickal should get a top 15 UFC opponent right away.

Basic! Dana White chats with Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney about the UFC’s rise.


Brace yourselves.




Virtual fight.


Snake hunter.





The Jessy school bus.



Keep going.

He just does everything.

Sure, no problem.

Almost time.



Jamie Pickett (13-8) vs. Bo Nickal (3-0); UFC 282, Dec. 12


Judging by Alex Pereira’s rise, I think we’ll see Bo Nickal in the title picture in no time at all. Late next year or mid-2024 at the latest.

Happy Friday, gang. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.