Luke Rockhold lived up to the hype on Wednesday when he quickly dispatched fellow top-10 middleweight Costas Philippou. The victory should not come to a surprise to many as he was the reigning Strikeforce middleweight champion prior to the end of the organization for a reason. The victory puts Rockhold back on track towards a future title shot.
Rockhold surprising kept the fight on the feet against a man who is known for his boxing background. Rockhold basically beat Philippou to the punch at every turn. Once the fight began, there was no question who had the advantage on the feet. A pinpoint kick to the liver is what ultimately finished Philippou.
Rockhold is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division and is constantly improving. Though he lost to Vitor Belfort in his octagon debut, he showed that he still belongs in the title contender discussion in a division that is quickly becoming deep with talent.
Another top-10 opponent should be in the future for Rockhold. He is now lobbying for a fight against fifth-ranked middleweight Michael Bisping, who defeated Alan Belcher in his last outing. A fight with Bisping would be interesting and would probably be a smart move for the UFC. Both fighters are well-rounded and underrated in the ground game for the most part. Both fighters also lost to Belfort.
If Bisping is not the answer, maybe a fight with Mark Munoz or Tim Boetsch could satisfy MMA fans, but the Bisping fight is the direction the organization should go. Unfortunately for Rockhold, the lineup for a title shot has continued to grow since his loss to Belfort. He is still at least two significant victories away from getting a chance.
Anthony Cloud is a MMA Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Google or like him on Facebook.