Former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been released from his UFC contract.
The American mixed martial artist revealed he is now ready for a new challenge after requesting to be let go with more than one fight remaining on the deal.
His split from the famed organisation seems to be an amicable one, however, with chief business officer Hunter Campbell granting his wishes without any great dramas.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Rockhold said: “I’ve done my thing in this sport, and I’ve always been amicable with Hunter Campbell at least. Me and Dana (White) always haven’t seen eye-to-eye, and we’ve had our differences, but I’ve been through some injuries and some things, and I’ve done my thing. I asked for a release. I asked for my freedom to be able to go and do things elsewhere. And I was granted that.
“Me and Hunter – I’ve paid my dues, and he granted me my wish to be able to go have freedom, to be able to box, to go fight elsewhere. There are a lot of different avenues. You’ve seen what Nate Diaz and Francis (Ngannou) are doing.
“There are interesting, innovative companies coming up, and there are a lot of things to correct in this world.”
The 38-year-old seems to have set his sights on one man in particular – Jake Paul. In an R-rated rant, he said: “I’d like to beat up all these little f****** punks that think they can box.
“Jake (Paul) would be f****** great. The UFC kind of released me to go f****** hunt that kid down. I asked for the release, we were talking about it after our boxing session at Churchill (boxing club) with Pete Berg and he said, ‘ah, yeah, I’ll ask Dana (White)’.
“And he said, ‘yeah, Luke can go f****** fight that kid, go beat his ass’. I said okay. I will. So, I was released to beat your f****** ass. The dog is here. The bounty man. The hit man. I’m f****** here, answer the f****** call.”