Recently Luke Rockhold argued he shouldn’t be ranked lower than “Jacare” Souza, and while not everyone’s in agreement with the middleweight contender, UFC boss man Dana White apparently is.
Following Rockhold’s impressive win over Michael Bisping earlier this month, the former Strikeforce champ relayed he doesn’t understand why he’s ranked #5 at 185, and Souza’s #3. Rockhold, you see, scored a unanimous decision win over Souza in 2011 when the two were with Strikeforce.
Others would argue, however, that Rockhold has a fairly recent loss to Vitor Belfort, while Souza has won 7 straight. While that’s true, Belfort is currently ranked higher than both men and sits at #2.
Well, White was asked to weigh-in on Rockhold’s comments in his latest “Download” column with UFC.com. The promotion’s president stated:
“Rockhold’s ranked number five, I think, because of the Vitor Belfort loss. But he’s got a very good point,” White said. “He beat Jacare and looked phenomenal against Bisping. How, really, is he ranked number five? It’s a good point.”
Regardless of where you sit in this debate, chances are that if Souza can go out and defeat Yoel Romero at UFC 184, “Jacare’ will be next for a title shot. The champion Chris Weidman will throw down with the aforementioned Belfort that same February 28th night.
As far as Rockhold goes, it remains to be seen who he will fight next, and considering what he’s showcased in his last three fights, it will almost certainly be a top contender. When asked to comment on Rockhold’s win over Bisping, which came via a second round, guillotine choke, White relayed:
“I think that Rockhold’s performance showed where he’s really at, because no matter what you think of Michael Bisping, everybody respects him as a fighter,” White said. “Bisping is legit. You can say he’s a gatekeeper or whatever you want, but he’s beat a lot of good people.”
It’s pretty hard to argue with that. The only other men who have finished Bisping in his decorated career are Belfort and Dan Henderson. So, considering Bisping has over 30 fights and has been in the UFC since 2006, that’s pretty impressive.
It’s going to be interesting to see who the UFC matches Bisping up next as well. The British fighter is currently ranked #9 in the promotion’s middleweight division.