FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST: Rockhold blasts UFC compensation, Lawler-Cerrone called off, Werdum loses his cool, Carwin’s comeback, more

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Luke Rockhold (Photo credit Joe Camporeale © USA Today Sports)


Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold added his name to the list of high-profile fighters who are unhappy with the UFC’s compensation this week.

Rockhold, like so many other fighters, believes he is paid well below what he is worth to the company. “Look, a lot of people are asking, ‘When are you going to fight?’,” Rockhold said in an interview with MMA Digest. I might have a bout agreement in the mail, but the money is bullshit.”

He also revealed that he has received offers to model for different companies and expressed interest in a potential career. “I’m a fighter at heart, but I’m here to get paid, so if there’s more potential [in modeling], I’ll take it,” Rockhold said during an appearance with the MMA Hour. “And we’re talking big numbers, so I could laugh and let my body heal and wait for when the time’s right to come back and fight when it makes sense.”

Rockhold does not currently have a fight scheduled and has not fought since a knockout loss to Michael Bisping in June.

Cervantes Analysis: I commend Rockhold on being one of the highest profile fighters to stand his ground against the UFC and to demand better pay. However, I would caution Rockhold on waiting too long before returning to the Octagon because of how quickly the sport and fighters evolve. He needs to be cognizant of the fact that there is a finite amount of time for him to compete at this elite level and the longer he is away the less relevant he becomes. If he wants to explore other avenues for a career, he could certainly commit to modeling on a part time basis, but it would be in his best interest to get back to fighting as soon as possible as he is just one fight removed from having been the champion and he could easily make another run.


-TMZ is reporting tonight that Robbie Lawler has pulled out of his fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 205, but is still expected to fight on that event. They said more details are forthcoming.

-Things got heated at the UFC 203 press conference between former Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne. In what was very out of character for the usually cool, calm, and collected Brazillian, Werdum told Browne, “I’m going to break your face, you bastard” ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated showdown. Werdum hopes to get back on track with a win after losing the title back in May and Browne seeks to forge his own path to a title shot against the former champion.

-Shane Carwin officially announced his decision to return to MMA earlier this week. Per a report by BloodyElbow, Carwin and the UFC could not come to an agreement with respect to his contract so the two amicably parted ways. He is currently in talks with Bellator MMA.

The UFC has been reported to have spent in excess of $100k to hire lobbyists to combat new developing regulations levied by the Ali Expansion Act to the sport of MMA. The UFC has been very active in Washington in the past and has paid large sums to special interest groups to support the growth and legalization of the sport nationwide.

-UFC heavyweight legend Frank Mir is not fond of C.M Punk’s upcoming bout with Mickey Gall. Per his fight podcast, Mir said “I don’t like it. I’m trying to be impartial and not be a dick, but the more we talk about this the more I’m getting angry at the situation because it’s bullshit.” Mir has not fought since a loss to Mark Hunt in March and is currently under suspension for testing positive for banned substances in that fight.

CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S NEWS DIGEST UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/8: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II sets all-time UFC pay-per-view buys record at 1.65 million, notebook items (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/8: Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II sets all-time UFC pay-per-view buys record at 1.65 million, notebook items (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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