Luke Rockhold did not make any statement about retiring from mixed martial arts, but it is likely he fought his final fight.
The former UFC and Strikeforce middle class champion last competed in July where he suffered a broken jaw in a knockout defeat to Jan Blachowicz on his debut at 205 pounds. After the fight, Rockhold took time off to recover, and while he recently signed up for a wrestling match against ADCC runner-up Nick Rodriguez at Polaris 12 on 30 November, his future plans might not involve fighting anymore.
"My head is satisfied where I am now," said Rockhold MMA Fighting. "I have done many things in this sport. I'm not trying to be a major newsmaker. I'm not trying to say I'm going to retire and then want to go back. I do not want to close the door to things in life.
"Right now, I'm glad I didn't fight. It's good to be able to focus on other things."
In recent years, Rockhold has gained traction in business outside the cage including a lucrative modeling contract with Polo Ralph Lauren in which he became one of the faces of the brand. He also recently started acting in a number of film roles that had been locked.
More than anything, Rockhold is satisfied with the work he does that does not involve fighting in mixed martial arts.
"Fighting takes a lot. I've done it, I've reached the top of the game. "I just don't have the same passion, hunger right now," Rockhold said. "I'm happy to go to another living world. I know I have a lot of fans out there. Sorry I didn't fight but you never know. Maybe someday I will but I don't see it at the moment.
"Couples who struggle to keep myself entertained in the process, I think people who listen will have fun watching. I will bring it to this child, and if I do anything else, I'm sure it will be fun and entertaining. "
Financially, Rockhold is in a position where he doesn't need to fight anymore, which allows him to make decisions about his future based on what is truly best for him rather than returning to act out of necessity.
If he decides to compete again, the 35-year-old veteran will do it for the right reasons, which means he wants to fight – not because he needs to fight.
"I'm rich. I can choose what I want to do," Rockhold said. "I have several companies that work with me, and I get checks that flow in a variety of ways. I don't like these people where I have to pursue and beat it with battles or jujutsu or whatever, there are other areas of life and I can put my energy and focus on those things.
"Obviously you can't fight forever. I can make more money outside the cage so if I can do that, why not? Don't have to deal with the political nonsense that comes with battles and UFCs, everything we know. I like that. That makes me happy. "
Just because a fight might be behind him, that doesn't mean Rockhold gave up on challenging himself on a different path in his life.
For example, he faced one of the prospects of wrestling in the world on November 30 because he wanted to test himself while still having fun doing something new.
"I'm not trying to make it work. I'm just having fun with it," Rockhold said. "I didn't go there and chase all these difficult things but to go pick a few people and prove that I'm still at the top of my game. Why not?
"I am an extremist. I will find anything that challenges me in life. I will try to overcome it. I will try to conquer it. I still have a lot I can conquer. I think it will always be like that. I am not trying to defeat the battle on the ground. I can do many other things. Fighting consumes you. It consumes your body, your mind and spends your life and cannot enjoy other things in your life. Not chasing after it and being consumed by it, it liberates. I like to do what I do and continue to pursue more. "
In pursuit of these extremes, Rockhold even jumped into a rodeo in Montana where he finished second in the steer wrestling competition. The former UFC champion blamed "Montana whiskey" for the impromptu decision to get involved with the rodeo, but he was happy to do it.
"I think I should get first place," Rockhold said. "I'm very upset about that. I will go back and refute it. I really got the money."
Be it wrestling competition, acting roles, or maybe another rodeo, Rockhold is now in a better place, which is why he has absolutely no problem putting a fight behind him for now.
"I am happy not to fight. I am happy to return to the west coast. I do what I do and am not worried about the burden of fighting over my head and going after it," Rockhold said.
"I've been doing it for almost 14 years. I have conquered two different companies. I have become the best in the world without a doubt. I slept well with it. Not many can do that. "
For all the signs that led to Rockhold never stepping back into the cage again, he was not ready to say for sure.
That's why he refused to close the door completely by using words like "retire" when it came to his struggling career.
"I didn't live my life in nevers," Rockhold said. "I have never been wrong to completely quit something. I don't want to put a roadblock in this life. I always leave the door open. That's how I live my life. I have had good fortune for myself so far. I will maintain that mentality and maintain it that lifestyle.
"I do what I want to do and make a different outlet. I like it."