Rockhold, who is a training partner of Khabib Nurmagomedov, explained the incident to Australian web show Submission Radio, saying that he was bringing his dog for a walk along Santa Monica Boulevard in California and, while he was observing proper social distancing etiquette, he was accosted by what he described as a “zombie woman.“
“She was on the bus stop bench, and she looked bad,” the former 185lb world champion said. “Like, homeless, something along those lines. And she looked like, probably meth or something and just nasty, nasty look, a lot of crap all over her [face], maybe some blood or something I saw.
“She was super out of it. [She] glanced up at me like real quick, looked down. I didn’t think anything of it, and I just kind of just stayed on my path on the edge on the sidewalk and I started walking.
“As I got closer, she popped up out of nowhere and ran at me like some zombie or something. It was wild. It was like the last thing I expected. I was just walking and minding my own business with my dog, and this chick just runs at me within 15 feet or something.”
Rockhold said the situation took a turn when it appeared as though the woman was intending to spit at him, something which made the fighter concerned as to potential coronavirus complications.
“She just jumped and started to run at me like ‘arghhh’ and she started hocking a loogie like she was gonna spit on me. Like, it was like a full just like trying to scare me or infect me kind of thing. I don’t know what she was on, but it didn’t look like anything I want to be around.
“And it happened so quick, so instinctually. The thing just ran at me and was hocking this loogie, and I was like, ‘what the f*ck?’ And I didn’t know what to do. And as it got close to me I just reared up with just a vicious front kick and just launched that thing in the air and just like instinctually.
“And the thing just went up, landed on the ground and literally like started quivering like a vampire frying in the sun or something.
“I didn’t have time to think about it but, I watched the spit hang in the air and like pretty much fall right on top of her. And I was like, how did I come out of this clean and not get touched? It was unbelievable. And I was just like, checked myself, nothing touched me, nothing got on me, and I was like, I’m out of here.”
Rockhold hasn’t competed since a surprising knockout defeat to Poland’s Jan Blachowicz last summer but also stated that he is beginning to “feel the itch” to return to competition.
However, his run-in with the ‘zombie woman’ may well be as close as he gets to that at the moment given that the Amercan Kickboxing Academy gym in which he trains alongside Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.