Luke Rockhold recently engaged in a fun little grappling exchange with NBA legend Tim Duncan, when the two met backstage at UFC on ESPN 43 on March 25th, 2023. Both men have reached the very highest levels of their respective sports and of course, they are both phenomenal athletes in their own right. They were at the event for different reasons, as Duncan was one of many stars in attendance at the event who had come to watch an evening of elite-level fights.
While Rockhold was also there to watch fights, he was more concerned with what happened to one fighter in particular. His friend and training partner Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera was competing in the main event against Cory Sandhagen. It was a huge moment for Vera too, as he was riding a four-fight winning streak and was right on the verge of a title-shot in the bantamweight division. While the night didn’t go as planned for Vera as he lost a split decision to Sandhagen, Rockhold appeared to be having fun at the event regardless.
Duncan’s status as a basketball legend should go without saying really, not only is he consistently regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport but he’s almost always considered the best power-forward of all time as well. Rockhold on the other hand is a former UFC and Strikeforce world champion who was known for his mastery of both striking and grappling throughout his lengthy professional MMA career.
Luke Rockhold obviously has a significant amount more experience grappling Tim Duncan, but the NBA legend is a gigantic athlete and he would no doubt make life incredibly hard for Rockhold if they were to take it seriously. He wouldn’t be the first NBA star to actually get involved with BJJ either, as former player Igor Rakocevic is actually a BJJ black belt and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has recently started training in the sport too.
The footage of Luke Rockhold having fun grappling with NBA legend Tim Duncan was uploaded to his official Instagram account:
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