Luke Rockhold is currently the king of the middleweight division – in Strikeforce. While he does cherish the title of Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Luke knows that the path to the undisputed global number one is in the UFC.
The list of challengers in the Strikeforce 185 pound weight class is short. So short that Keith Jardine was booked to fight him in a championship bout. No offense to Keith, but he isn’t exactly on top of his game right now. With Dan Henderson’s move to the UFC the chances of fighting someone that will move him up in the rankings is small. Currently ESPN has Rockhold ranked at number 6. Unless another top 10 fighter emerges it doesn’t look like Luke will be gaining ground toward that top spot anytime soon.
Former champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza destroyed Derek Brunson in his last fight, and with that win placed himself at the front of the line for a shot at the title he once held. Luke is the man responsible for snatching the championship away from Souza, and Jacare looked like a man on a mission when he knocked out Brunson in the first round. Souza is ranked number 10 in most polls and he is a legitimate threat to Rockhold’s reign. Should Luke beat Jacare a second time it just might move him in to the top 5 if he does so in convincing fashion
Another potential opportunity for Rockhold is a crossover fight from a contender in the UFC. With Frank Mir coming over to fight Daniel Cormier that very well could start a welcome trend. The divisions in Strikeforce are very thin and could use a boost every now and then. Will that happen. Probably not, but at least there is hope that it could.
Luke opened up to BJPenn.com’s Sean McClure about Anderson Silva’s camp calling him out, his performance against Tim Kennedy, a second fight with Jacare, UFC crossovers and more (Video).
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