Luke Rockhold has revealed that he’s had to pull out of his upcoming fight with Sean Strickland at UFC 268 on November 6th at Madison Square Garden in New York City due to suffering a back injury.
“There’s no easy way to really say it but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold revealed on Instagram. “I ended up herniating a disc in my back, L4, L5, and the docs say it’s nothing I can play with. I need to do some treatment with some recovery time.
“Some things just aren’t meant to be. New York, motherf*cking New York. Sorry to the friends and the family and the peeps and all the people but we’ll be back. Till next time.”
The former middleweight champion was hoping to return to action for the first time in over two years after having lost two fights in a row by KO against Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
It remains to be seen if the UFC will be able to find a replacement for Strickland, but it seems likely given that there’s still around a month to go until fight night.
Strickland is currently on a five-fight winning streak in the division, defeating the likes of Brendan Allen, Krzysztof Jotko and Uriah Hall along the way to move up to the No.7 spot on the rankings.
The good news is that UFC 268 remains a stacked card regardless, headlined by a welterweight rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, plus there’s more title action in the co-main event as Rose Namajunas defends her strawweight title in a rematch against Zhang Weili, while Michael Chandler also takes on Justin Gaethje elsewhere on the main card.