It was September 10 of last year where Luke Rockhold stepped into the cage, after a nearly eleven-month layoff, to meet then Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza. While “Jacare” started strong, the returning AKA product continually pushed back, making it a fight. After 25 minutes, the hot prospect would have his hand raised, taking the title from the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace.
Nearly a year later and we have come full circle. Rockhold has defended his belt twice in 2012, blasting UFC veteran Keith Jardine in January and outworking Tim Kennedy in June. “Jacare” submitted Bristol Marunde in March, but it was last night’s massacre of Derek Brunson that has put him back into title contention. At the Strikeforce: “Rousey vs. Kaufman” post-fight press conference, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that both men are looking for that fight and he’s likely booking it.
“To me, I’d like to see that fight happen. I know ‘Jacare’ would like that fight to happen. Luke’s looking for that fight, so I think it’d be an easy fight. … We’ll start talking to ‘Jacare’s’ camp right away. Sean Shelby and I, we really haven’t had a chance to talk, though. … Give us a day or so.”