MMAWeekly.com is reporting that Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza will next defend his title against American Kickboxing Academy product Luke Rockhold.
Rockhold confirmed the news via his Twitter account: “Words out, Im fighting Jacare for the title. I feel healthy, I feel ready and I feel I have all the tools to take his belt. It’s on”
A black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo, Souza won the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title (Jake Shields ditched the belt to try his luck in the UFC) by defeating Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision this past August at Strikeforce: Houston. He has defended the belt once since then, choking out Robbie Lawler in the third round of their January 29 meeting. The 14-2 Brazilian is considered by many to be one of the best grapplers competing in the sport, along with names like Roger Gracie and Demian Maia; he’s earned eleven of his fourteen wins by way of submission.
26-year-old Luke Rockhold has spent the majority of his eight-fight career within the Strikeforce promotion, amassing an overall career mark of 7-1. Currently on a six-fight winning streak, Rockhold has not competed since defeating Paul Bradley via TKO in February of 2010 as a result of various injuries. A brown belt in BJJ, Rockhold has won six fights via submission.
Souza and Rockhold are expected to meet at a September Strikeforce event which is currently unannounced, but is expected to take place on the tenth of that month.