Luke Rockhold is finally making a move up to light-heavyweight and waiting their to greet him will be Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 on July 6th in Las Vegas.
The former middleweight champion has been talking about stepping up a division for some time now, but injuries have kept him out of action since a knockout loss to Yoel Romero in February of last year.
Prior to that Rockhold had earned a decision win over David Branch, which had helped him bounce back after a shock title defeat against late replacement Michael Bisping in 2016.
Last December Rockhold indicated that he believed his tough weight cuts were a factor in the injury woes he’s experienced in recent times and so he’s now hoping for a fresh start that will enable him to fight more than once a year, as been the case for the last three years.
In Blachowicz he’s fighting the current No.6 ranked contender in the 205lb division. As it happens, the Polish fighter is actually coming off a TKO loss against another former middleweight fighter Thiago Santos.
Before that Blachowicz was on a four-fight winning streak though that had seen him defeat the likes of Nikita Krylov, Jimi Manuwa, Jared Cannonier and Devin Clark.
Rockhold vs. Blachowicz is the first fight to be officially announced for UFC 239, which takes place during International Fight Week in Las Vegas, which traditionally plays host to one of the most stacked UFC events of the year, so several more high-profile bouts are likely to be announced for it in the coming weeks and months.