From the two minutes and thirty-one seconds we got to see of Luke Rockhold on Wednesday night, he looked fantastic. Costa Philippou is not a cakewalk, but with a great use of body kicks Rockhold was able to make it known there was a vast difference in talent between the two.
Rockhold is now 1-1 in the UFC and after making short work of Philippou he quickly let Jon Anik and fight fans know his choices for his next opponent,
“I’m not here to be good, I’m here to be great. I want my rematch with Vitor and I would like it here in the (United) States. I’ll go through anybody I have to get that especially Michael Bisping actually, that would be nice.”
Let’s take a look at who the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion could see in the Octagon next:
- Michael Bisping: After being forced to withdraw from his fight against Mark Muñoz, Bisping has continued to hear his name called out by seemingly every middleweight that wins in the UFC. It’s coming on nine months since ‘The Count’ last stepped inside the cage and according to Gareth Davies of The Telegraph, Bisping still needs to pass a peripheral eye test in order to be cleared by UFC medical staff. If his desire to fight Tim Kennedy doesn’t pan out, maybe an April-set matchup with Luke Rockhold would work.
- The least impressive winner out of either Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi or Francis Carmont vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: I say least impressive because the most impressive winner out of UFC Fight Night 36 could very well see the next title shot against the winner of Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman. It’s no secret Dana White typically favors the more devastating finishers when a division is in a state similar to that of the current 185-pound division. With a new champion and a sport with its fair share of injuries, each of the UFC’s top-5 could be granted a title shot at a moment’s notice. Rockhold would need to beat one of the fighters previously listed if he wants to be on the the shortlist for a shot at the gold in the UFC middleweight division.
- Vitor Belfort: We all know that this is the fight Rockhold wants. Belfort ended the fight in violent fashion last May with a spinning heel kick in the first round. In order for this rematch to happen, two things need to occur. First, Rockhold needs to win his next fight and stay in the win column. Second, Vitor has to lose to Chris Weidman in their bout that has yet to be announced. If both of these outcomes happen, it is likely that Rockhold could see himself across from Belfort once again.