Dana White Reveals the Next Opponent for Former Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold

Published 08/03/2021, 10:48 PM EDT
NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 18: Luke Rockhold celebrates defeating Lyoto Machida of Brazil by tap out in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


According to reports, the UFC is targeting a middleweight showdown between Luke Rockhold and Sean Strickland. Rockhold, a former Strikeforce, and UFC middleweight champion, has been aiming for his return to the UFC. He last fought at UFC 239 at light-heavyweight against the current champion, Jan Blachowicz.

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Strickland, on the other hand, earned a lopsided decision in his favor against Uriah Hall last weekend. The former welterweight fighter made the most of his first chance to headline a UFC card. ‘Tarzan’ battered ‘Primetime’ over the course of 5 rounds and made a statement for the rest of the division.

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Rockhold has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights in the UFC. After capturing the middleweight title at UFC 194 from Chris Weidman, he lost it to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 in their rematch. A win over David Branch was followed by back-to-back knockout losses against Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz.

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 16: Luke Rockhold celebrates after defeating David Branch in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the PPG Paints Arena on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

But the former champion seems motivated again. He is looking to be back with a vengeance and put the rest of the division on notice. However, Strickland is on the rise and will look to spoil Rockhold’s return if the fight happens.

Sean Strickland vs Luke Rockhold: How will the fight play out?

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Technically, Rockhold is one of the best middleweights ever to fight in the UFC. His grappling seems to be on another level from the rest of the pack. The AKA trainee also has a diverse arsenal of kicks. But, his chin and the ability to take shots have been highly questionable lately. Against a forward pressing fighter like ‘Tarzan’, that can prove to be a recipe for disaster.

Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jan Blachowicz (red gloves) fights against Luke Rockhold (blue gloves) at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

That being said, if he can implement his style and play a strategic game to neutralize Strickland, the former champion is a problem to be reckoned with. On his day, he has the potential to better any opponent. If this fight actually happens, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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Do you want to see Rockhold vs Stickland? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Apratim Banerjee

1189 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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