In this episode of “Moving Portraits: Title Shots,” we travel to Santa Cruz to learn how a lifetime of surfing and skating has shaped middleweight Luke Rockhold’s fighting style.
If you’ve ever spent any time in a California coastal town, you’ve probably noticed dozens of people heading for the beach to surf every morning at sunrise. It’s like they have to be there. Ever known a surfer who you wouldn’t describe as an adrenaline junkie? The thrill that comes from riding the breaks seems mighty addictive.
Surfing is the ultimate man against nature sport. The ultimate man against man sport—at least that which doesn’t involve actual weaponry—is mixed martial arts and Luke Rockhold, has mastered both. He’s also a skater and believes that it is his agility on the waves and on his deck informs his fighting style and stance.
Rockhold grew up surfing in Santa Cruz with his father and older brother pro surfer Matt “Rocky” Rockhold (long the face of Rip Curl). The waves there spawn the world’s best surfers, but as he mentions in the video below, Santa Cruz may appear to be a sleepy idyllic place, but it’s a fairly hard town, especially the beaches which can get very territorial between groups of surfers.
Luke Rockhold seems to have channeled his need for that adrenaline rush with his professional aspirations. As he admits in the portrait below, he was a wild and crazy, aggressive violent kid. Today the former Strikeforce Champion is #5 in the official Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight rankings.
On November 8th, Rockhold will be battling it out with British MMA fighter Michael Bisping at UFC’s UFC Fight Night 55 at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. If their hilariously shit-talking press conference is any indication, it ought to be a doozy!
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