It’s official, Luke Rockhold will be the next contender to fight middleweight champion Chris Weidman according to UFC President Dana White.
“We don’t have the fight set up yet, we don’t know when it’s going to be. But that will be the fight,” White stated on the UFC Tonight show. “Luke Rockhold will get the next shot at the title.”
Rockhold had been placed as the No.1 contender in the division following his second round submission victory against Lyoto Machida back in April on FOX. That was his fourth victory in a row, having also beaten Michael Bisping, Tim Boetsch and Costas Philippou, all by stoppage inside the distance, in the past 18 months.
However, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza had also been in the running for a title shot as he’s unbeaten in five Octagon fights so far, and including his time in Strikeforce that streak extends to eight fights.
However, ‘Jacare’s’ momentum took a hit when his last scheduled fight against Yoel Romero fell through and he instead had to take on a short notice fight with the unranked Chris Camozzi who he’d already easily defeated in the UFC two years ago.
‘Jacare’ also holds a 2011 unanimous decision loss to Rockhold in a Strikeforce middleweight title fight, so there is a case to be made for Rockhold to get the first shot at Weidman’s title, and it’s a terrific match-up.
Rockhold could prove to be the toughest test out there for Weidman who’s now a perfect 13-0 in his career following a first round TKO victory against Vitor Belfort at UFC 187 and has also notched up a win over Lyoto Machida and not forgetting his back-to-back victories over former champion Anderson Silva.