“I don’t know what to do with my hands.
That’s what Ricky Bobby, played by Will Ferrell in the 2006 comedy film Talladega Nights, said in an interview, but it might as well have been Luke Rockhold at UFC 209.
What was a simple, signature UFC move of featuring famous people and/or fighters in the crowd at pay-per-view events turned into one of the most awkward, and therefore fun memories , mixed martial arts.
It was one of the first times Rockhold had been seen by UFC fans since losing the UFC middleweight title to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 and being flanked of the ever-popular Nate Diaz.
While the two are California boys, when Diaz started using his hands to make apparent gang signs, Rockhold thought to copy before realizing he didn’t know what he was doing – like everyone else. world that isn’t Nick or Nate Diaz would.
The problem is that he had the unfortunate realization of it live on television. Many joked at the time it reminded them of Bobby, the fictional NASCAR race car driver.
Early in his career, Rockhold trained at the American Kickboxing Academy under Javier Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s tutor.
He was the Strikeforce middleweight champion before moving to the UFC and after losing to Vitor Belfort he had an impressive winning streak which led to him winning the UFC middleweight title against Chris Weidman in 2015.
Since losing to Bisping in 2016, Rockhold won a comeback fight against David Branch before losing an interim middleweight title fight to Yoel Romero.
He attempted to move up to light heavyweight in 2019, but eventual champion Jan Blachowicz knocked him out in the second round and Rockhold hasn’t fought since.
He was supposed to face Sean Strickland at UFC 268 but had to pull out of the fight due to a herniated disc. He might just have more free time to attend UFC events and maybe he’ll be better prepared the next time the camera lands on him.
For Diaz fans, meanwhile, they would have been disappointed not to have seen him on the UFC 209 card.
The welterweight doesn’t hide his pride in being from Stockton, whose zip code is 209 and often shouts it out.
However, he was in a period of inactivity at this point, his previous fight being against Conor McGregor in August 2016 and did not appear in the octagon again until beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in 2019.