UFC fans were graced with one of the most entertaining UFC cards in history on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 55 in the Australian city of Sydney.
All 11 matches on the card ended in a finish, which is a record for the most amount of fights on one UFC card to not go to the judges.
The Main Event of the night featured, as most of us know, polarizing British veteran Michael Bisping and former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Rockhold won the match via guillotine choke in the second round, which has further boosted his status as one of the UFC’s top fighters. With that, we at Fight of the Night have looked at potential next fights for both Rockhold and Bisping.
If Rockhold’s victory in Sydney said one thing to MMA fans and critics, it was that he is a top UFC Middleweight who deserves another shot at another top fighter in that division.
Rockhold lost his first fight in the UFC against future title challenger Vitor Belfort last year. However, he has since gone 3-0 in the Octagon with wins over Costa Philippou, Tim Boetsch and Michael Bisping, all of which ended in finishes.
While the UFC Middleweight champion has been traditionally seen by some fans as being notoriously shallow, that reputation is one that is now well and truly out the window.
That is due to people such as Rockhold, as well as Yoel Romero, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, Lyoto Machida and Tim Kennedy now being a part of the division.
The significance of that in the case of Rockhold’s standing in the division is that he will need another shot before being considered as the next in line to the title. That is something which may have been different just a few years ago.
Although that may be case, Rockhold is most definitely in line for a number one contender shot in his next fight as a result of the dominating nature or his previous wins and the calibre of the opponents he has beaten.
The question now is, who he should fight next.
Perhaps the most obvious answer is Jacare. The two fought in Strikeforce for that organisation’s Middleweight strap in September 2011, which Rockhold won via unanimous decision.
Despite that, Jacare has also fought up a storm since he moved over to the UFC. The Brazilian is currently 4-0 in the Octagon, with wins over Chris Camozzi, Yushin Okami, Francis Carmont and Gegard Mousasi.
That dominant reign has also put Jacare at the top of the heap, and if it wasn’t for the title shot between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort being delayed it is likely Jacare would have already been named as the next challenger.
Both Jacare and Rockhold appear to have gotten even better since they’re first fight, which would make a second fight between them highly interesting to most fans.
A second fight between the two would also highlight a clear and highly viable contender for the Middleweight title.
Another potential next fight for Rockhold is another former Strikeforce fighter, Yoel Romero.
Romero has gone 5-0 in the UFC to bring his total record to 9-1. The streak has also helped make him a top ten fighter in the UFC Middleweight division.
The Cuban is due for a big fight against a big name contender, and Luke Rockhold is a fighter who most certainly fits that bill.