Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold successfully defended his title on Saturday by defeating Tim Kennedy, and said in his post-fight interview that he'd like to fight Ronaldo Souza again in his next defense. He expanded on the thought in an interview with Sherdog:
Jacare quickly responded in an interview with Tatame and accepted:
"[There will be] many more [defenses] to come. I'm not giving it up. I'll be damned if anybody takes this belt from me," said Rockhold. "There are quite a few new middleweights in the division now, like Lorenz Larkin
and Roger Gracie
, but I think ‘Jacare' is the most likely challenger, as long as he wins [his August bout against Derek Brunson
]. Our fight needs closure, and I'd like to have a chance to finish it."
It's not very often that you see a champion say he wants a rematch against a guy that he's already beaten, but Rockhold seems like a pretty classy guy and he knows that Jacare is the best fight out there for him. Hopefully they can get that fight done before the end of the year, but Jacare has to get through Derek Brunson on August 18th first.
"He challenged me because our last fight was so close. He feels he needs to show himself that he's able to defeat me," Souza told TATAME. "If he wants to fight me, I want my belt back. I wanna prove the world that that fight is past and I can defeat him, in five, six or seven rounds".
"I'd go there with a strategy way better than the last one," he guarantees. "I won't let him impose his game, which suffocates the opponent. That was crucial for making the judges give him the win".