Daniel Cormier pays an emotional tribute to Luke Rockhold after the former middleweight champion retired from MMA

The four kings of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California ruled the UFC in their prime. Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, and Khabib Nurmagomedov delivered some of the most memorable moments inside the octagon, and their brotherhood is a sight to behold. They won the championship in their weight class and have scripted their names as one of the most dominant teams in MMA history.

Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov

At UFC 278, Luke Rockhold and Paulo Costa delivered one of the most exciting fights that earned him the ‘fight of the night’ bonus. The fight was packed with action right from the start. The fight began with Rockhold trying to take Costa down which unfortunately for him did not work out well. Costa reversed the position, and got him into an arm tie and landed nasty uppercuts from the position.

This wounded Rockhold’s nose pretty bad and he was forced to breathe from his mouth for the remaining fight. There were moments in the fight where it felt like Rockhold could not continue. A little push from his coaching team, and cheer from the crowd pushed the former middleweight champion to continue fighting.

The most bizarre moment came in the third round when Rockhold sprayed his blood on Costa’s face from top position. He even managed to land some big punches, but in the end, he was too spent and Costa capitalized on it to coast through a decision victory.

Daniel Cormier sends an emotional message to his teammate Luke Rockhold following retirement

Daniel Cormier was on broadcast duties when Luke Rockhold announced his retirement. As the former middleweight champion made his final walk out of the octagon, Cormier went to embrace him. He spoke about this on his YouTube channel later.

“My boy Luke Rockhold fought the final fight of his career and you know? I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Skill wise he looked like he still has a ton left but his cardio, his body posture, the way that he looked in there tells me that it’s about time for my boy to walk away. So I ran over and I gave him a big hug.”

“Hats off to my boy Luke,” Cormier added . “Guys, I hope that you guys enjoy this while we were there. I always talk about you’ve got to enjoy fighters while you have them. Because you never know when they’re going to be gone.

“I got this picture sent to me and now we’re all gone. You look at this photo and it’s Khabib Nurmagomedov, myself, Luke Rockhold and Cain Velasquez and if you look at the coach off to the right, to the left of Cain, he’s dead. Cain’s in jail. We’ve had some really, really great times at the American Kickboxing Academy and the final of the guys we called the four kings takes a bow in front of the fans tonight in what I believe was a fairytale ending for Luke Rockhold.”


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