Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), a former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, announced on Monday night that he’s sustained a back injury and has withdrawn from his scheduled bout against Sean Strickland (24-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) on the Nov. 6 card at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“There’s no easy way to really say it, but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold said on his Instagram story. “I ended up herniating a disc in my back. L4, L5. The docs say it’s nothing I can play with. I need to do some treatment and recovery time. Some things just aren’t meant to be. New York, motherf*cking New York. I’m sorry to the friends and the peeps and everyone, but we’ll be back. Until next time.”
Rockhold, 36, hasn’t seen action since a July 2019 knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. He’s lost three of his past four fights overall.
It’s unknown at this time if the UFC will seek a replacement opponent for Strickland or if the matchup will be postponed.
The latest UFC 268 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington – for welterweight title
- Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili – for strawweight title
- Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje
- Sean Strickland vs. opponent TBA
- Frankie Edgar vs. Marlon Vera
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPNews, ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
- Bobby Green vs. Al Iaquinta
- Ian Garry vs. Jordan Williams
- Andreas Michailidis vs. Alex Pereira
- Nassourdine Imavov vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6:15 p.m. ET)
- John Allan vs. Aleksa Camur
- Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. TJ Laramie
- Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo
- Ode Osbourne vs. CJ Vergara
- Chris Barnett vs. Gian Villante