Since Strikeforce imports Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez are set to compete at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20, 2013, in San Jose, California, which served as the now-defunct mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's backyard, Luke Rockhold -- the last man to hold the company's Middleweight title -- now wants to join the local party, too.
Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, Rockhold hasn't seen action since defeating Tim Kennedy back in July 2012. Since then, the American kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained fighter had to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Lorenz Larkin earlier this month because of injury.
Now that he has been confirmed as an obvious addition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, Rockhold is eager to make his Octagon debut as soon as possible. And he isn't shy about naming potential opponents.
His plan (via MMA Fighting):
"I think Costa Philippou makes the most sense right now. He's coming off a win, and I think he's a good opponent. Let's get it on at [UFC on FOX 7]."
Constantinos Philippou has quietly been climbing the 185-pound ladder, winning five straight, including his latest technical knockout victory over Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 just last month. And even though it might seem like an odd request, consider that "Costa" was honest in recent personal assessment, saying he isn't ready for a title shot yet.
Therefore, a top name like Rockhold for his next bout doesn't seem like such a bad idea for the streaking Serra-Long-trained fighter (or Rockhold for that matter).
Turning his attention to the rest of the UFC 185-pound class, Rockhold also has his sights set on knocking out British star Michael Bisping, saying he wants his chance to fight middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva, before "The Count" and fellow top contender, Chris Weidman, because he feels he has the recipe for success against the "Spider."
And the race is on to be the first man to do it inside the Octagon:
"I want Bisping to stay on the up and up so I can knock him out, but I want Belfort to win because that would open a path to Anderson [Silva]. I want the fight that gets me to Anderson as fast as I can. I believe I can fight him like no one else can. I want that opportunity because I believe I'm the No. 1 contender. I want to fight Silva before Weidman does because I think he might beat him. I want to debut in the Bay Area. I'm a Bay Area boy. So if anyone wants to step up, that would be great."
As the UFC on Fox 7 card begins to take shape, Rockhold would love nothing more than to join his former Strikeforce comrades, Melendez and Cormier, inside "The Shark Tank" this spring for his debut in front of his friends and family.
Whether or not UFC is willing to comply -- like it did when "DC" called out Frank Mir -- is an entirely different situation.
But, you'll never know unless you ask.