Strikeforce Champ Luke Rockhold Anticipates Tim Kennedy in January Title Bout

Luke Rockhold, Strikeforce's newly coronated middleweight champion, has been summoned by the promotion to start training for his first title defense. Though nothing is official, Rockhold spoke to Tatame.com and speculated that Tim Kennedy would be his opponent for a show sometime in January.

"I think Tim Kennedy is out there, and from what I've been told, that's probably my next fight. 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."

After starting off his MMA career with one win and one loss, Rockhold signed with Strikeforce and reeled off six consecutive victories, all of which were finished in the first round. The impressive streak earned the American Kickboxing Academy fighter a crack at Ronaldo Souza's belt. Despite coming in as a significant underdog, Rockhold dethroned the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu phenom in a commanding five-round decision on September's "Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov" card.

Tim Kennedy battled with "Jacare" for the vacant middleweight championship at the "Strikeforce: Houston" show in August of 2010, losing a competitive decision. The defeat was Kennedy's first since meeting the UFC's Jason Miller in 2007 and his third overall. Since meeting Souza, Kennedy notched wins over Melvin Manhoef (submission) and Robbie Lawler (decision).

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal is the next turn for the organization, which takes place on December 17th and will be headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal.

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