Over the past several months, Zuffa has steadily gutted Strikeforce of their top male talent, adding three of the promotion’s champions and some of its biggest stars to the UFC’s roster. This led most to the seemingly obvious conclusion that Strikeforce was on its last legs and would soon see all of its top talent moving on to the UFC.
Now though, the promotion’s future is less clear, with most signs actually pointing to its continued existence. The organization has managed to hold on to two of its champions, lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez, who’s on deck to face Jorge Masvidal in a title defense next month, and newly-crowned middleweight champ Luke Rockhold, who recently revealed to Tatame that he’s likely to face Tim Kennedy early next year to defend his recently won title.
“I think Tim Kennedy is out there, and from what I’ve been told, that’s probably my next fight,” said Rockhold. “Nothing’s official, but they told me to get into train camp and get ready. So, I’m thinking January I’ll be fighting and, most probably, it’ll be Tim Kennedy.”
This stunts speculation that Kennedy’s next fight would occur in the UFC.
Rockhold also said that he’s under the impression Strikeforce will live on in some form or another, but he admitted that he’d still like to see himself and the rest of Strikeforce’s top talent competing in the UFC.
“I also heard that Strikeforce might survive. Like I said, nothing’s official, it’s all hearsay,” he said. “I look forward to going to the UFC. I think me, Kennedy and Jacare would do very well in the UFC. I think we’re on the way to go.”
8-1 as a pro, Rockhold defeated previous champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov this past September via unanimous decision to win the Strikeforce title.