September 22, 2010

by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com After having worked his way up through the ranks of Strikeforce, Luke Rockhold stood on the threshold breaking into the elite class of fighters when it was announced he would face former UFC title contender Matt “The Law” Lindland on Oct. 9 at the Strikeforce show in San Jose, Calif.

But in a cruel twist of fate, Rockhold – who had never suffered a major injury before – ended up getting hurt in training, postponing his date with Lindland for the time being.

“It’s an AC (acromioclavicular) joint separation I got from landing on my shoulder during wrestling,” Rockhold told MMAWeekly.com “I was trying to fight through it in training, but I haven’t been able to spar, wrestle, or do jiu-jitsu the last two weeks.

“I can’t go into this fight with no real training. I’ve been running and do what I can, but I’ve got to be realistic. I’m only 25 and I have plenty of time to heal and get back on it as soon as possible.”

According to Rockhold’s doctors, the injury will keep him out of action for the near future, with the hopes that he will be able to return before the end of the year.

“They’re saying it could be four weeks or six; it depends on how much I rest it and don’t set myself back,” said Rockhold. “I was training through it and trying to block it out, thinking it was going to heal before the fight, but it never happened.

“There’s no doubt I’ll be back before the end of the year. As long as they can find me an event, I feel like I’ll be ready. Just give me a couple weeks to heal and time for a training camp and I’ll be ready to go.”

Rockhold remains optimistic that he will have his fight with Lindland one way or another.

“It’s a possibility,” he commented. “I know Strikeforce likes that fight, and we’re both obviously willing to fight, so as long as nothing happens in between, it can happen. I haven’t heard any official word on it, but it’s definitely a possibility.”

Even if he doesn’t get a shot at Lindland, Rockhold feels it is time for him to face off against the highest level of competition in the middleweight division.

“I want to prove that I’m here and completely ready for this level,” he said. “I trained a lot in the gym and I’m ready for this. I can’t wait to go out and show it.”

Realizing that this setback is only temporary, Rockhold urges his followers to keep the faith, as he intends on returning as soon as possible to continue his climb up the ladder.

“I’m sorry for my fans,” he concluded, “I know I haven’t been in there for a long time, but I’m staying on it and as soon as I heal I’ll get back in the gym as soon as possible.

“Thank you to all my fans for their support and thank you to my sponsors: Cage Hero, SCORE Clinic, Full Tilt Poker and Santa Cruz Skate and Surf Shop.”