Luke Rockhold is the former and final Strikeforce middleweight champion.
He was most recently expected to fight in the Strikeforce middleweight tournament to decide the number-one contender for the title. Instead, he was set to fight a legend of the sport, Matt Lindland. Echoing Quinton Jackson a few years before, Rockhold said prior to the fight that he was planning to keep Lindland away "because he stinks." Unfortunately about a month before the fight was set to occur, Rockhold was injured. He was replaced by Robbie Lawler.
Rockhold next fought for the Strikeforce middleweight title against champion Ronaldo Souza. He defeated Souza via unanimous decision to become the new champion.
Rockhold was next set to make his first defense against Army Ranger Tim Kennedy. Instead, he signed on to defend the title against UFC veteran and middleweight debutant Keith Jardine. Rockhold defeated Jardine via knockout near the end of the first round to retain his title. Rockhold broke his hand in the fight but the injury did not require surgery. Tim Kennedy was heavily rumored to be the next challenger for Rockhold's belt. Rockhold defeated Kennedy via a methodical unanimous decision.
He was next set to defend his title for the third time against Lorenz Larkin on Strikeforce's last event but was unfortunately injured. Rockhold was then confirmed to be making the move to the UFC's stacked middleweight division.
He wasted no time calling out veteran striker Constantinos Philippou for the April Fox show in San Jose. After Vitor Belfort knocked out Michael Bisping, Rockhold ended up calling out Belfort for a fight on Fox in April 2013. The fight was made for April 2013 indeed. Belfort ended up knocking out Rockhold in the first round with a fantastic high-light reel spinning wheel kick.
After recovering Rockhold signed to fight Constantinos Philippou for January 2014. He defeated the highly touted Philippou via first round liver kick TKO before calling out Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping.
Rockhold wasted little time in signing in February 2014 for another crack at Boetsch. This time the fight took place, with Rockhold defeating Boetsch quite quickly and easily via first round inverted triangle kimura submission.
Title Run Officially Begins Edit
Rockhold next fought veteran Michael Bisping handing Bisping his first submission loss via second round guillotine choke submission after dropping the veteran with a high kick.
Rockhold next signed for arguably the biggest fight of his career to date in an undeniable UFC middleweight title eliminator with former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Cory Devela - The fight ended in a quick thirty-second rear-naked choke victory for Rockhold.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo Souza - The fight was for the Strikeforce middleweight title with Ronaldo Souza defending. It was Luke Rockhold's first fight in nineteen months. He had never been out of the first round.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Keith Jardine - The fight was for the Strikeforce middleweight title with Rockhold defending. The fight was Keith Jardine's middleweight debut replacing an injured Tim Kennedy.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy - The fight was for the Strikeforce middleweight title with Rockhold defending.
- Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping