It appears that the UFC is wasting no time in seeing just how good former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold really is. The announcement comes today that Rockhold will travel into hostile territory when he meets up with surging Middleweight Vitor Belfort in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.
For Rockhold, the bout will serve as a huge step up in competition. He was recently linked to bouts with striker Lorenz Larkin as Strikeforce quietly closed its doors, but injuries prevented the fight from taking place. Last seen defeating Tim Kennedy in Strikeforce, Rockhold of course took that belt from Jacare Souza. Known for an impressive array of strikes, Rockhold has recently stated that he needs a tune-up fight before facing UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Now he has quite the tune-up in Belfort, who himself looks to get another crack at Silva. Most recently seen destroying Michael Bisping, Belfort oddly called out Jon Jones for a rematch with the Light Heavyweight champ. But this bout will have tons of high title implications riding on it. It would be hard to see how it could not.
Chris Weidman may get the next shot at Silva’s belt, or it could be the winner of this hard-hitting bout. Can Luke Rockhold truly make a name for himself and stake his claim firmly among the top five Middleweights in the world? Or will it be just another highlight reel finish for “The Phenom?”