built upon a rock

Luke Rockhold talks life at the top

Written by
Erik Rasmussen
Photography by Randall Mesdon

At Large Issue 06 Luke Rockhold 1

All clothing ADIDAS

Why do we watch fights? They’re the most primal form of competition, and easy to understand. They transcend cultures. Plus, there’s a psychological component deep in our ancestral wiring that seeks tough leaders in a potentially violent world. UFC president Dana White summed it up during an appearance with Mike Tyson on The Jim Norton Show. “Before a guy ever hit a ball with a bat, or a ball went through a hoop, there were two guys on this planet and [one of them] threw a punch, and anybody who was standing around was watching it.”

At Large Issue 06 Luke Rockhold 2


Why does UFC welterweight Luke Rockhold want to fight, and at such a high and public level? “I’ve got one life to live and I’m going to do anything I can to get everything out of it,” he explains, sitting in the sun at his Santa Cruz home. “If you want to make something of your life you have to take risks. Being the UFC champ is the goal I’ve set for this stage in my life. Knowing you have to fight a guy on this exact day at this exact time — in a cage, and fully exposed to the world — you can start to play mind games with yourself. But overcoming that opponent, that obstacle in front of you, is the most unexplainably rewarding thing I can think of …

“And the paychecks are encouraging,” he adds.

Read the full story in Issue 06 on newsstands now.