A week ago Luke Rockhold was coming to terms with having lost his UFC middleweight title to Michael Bisping at UFC 199, but now it’s matters even closer to home that are occupying his thoughts.

The 31 year-old’s father Steve passed away this weekend, and later the fighter reposted a heartfelt message written in by his brother Matt.

Steve Rockhold had himself been an athlete in his younger years, playing three seasons with a professional basketball team in Europe, and indeed at one stage his son considered following in his footsteps, before finding his true calling in mixed martial arts.

The loss of his father will undoubtedly be tough to take, but Rockhold can at least take comfort from the fact that he did live long enough to see him become a champion, and while his loss to Bisping was a big setback, no-one is in any doubt that he has the capability to fight his way back to the belt sooner rather than later.

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