Rockhold took to Instagram to share the news late Monday night.
“There’s no easy way to really say it, but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold said while sitting in a sauna. “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 was meant to making his first appearance in the Octagon since his 2019 loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. He was in desperate need of a win having dropped three of his last four.
Strickland is on a surge having won five in a row.
There has been no word about a replacement for Strickland.
As of press time, the current UFC 268 line-up is as follows.
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