Rockhold to face Romero in first title defence

Luke Rockhold (supplied)
Luke Rockhold (supplied)

Cape Town - According to Malki Kawa, MMA agent and CEO of First Round Management,  the first UFC Middleweight Title defence for Luke Rockhold will be against #2 Yoel Romero.

The statement was made in the following tweet from Kawa:

"Romero will fight for the title "@FrontRowBrian:, @superCalo people talking about Romero fighting Rockhold. He didn't finish a future hOf'er with 1 punch. Nate did. He gets title shot"

While the UFC has yet to officially announce the matchup, Kawa, a representative of some of the biggest names in the UFC, is about as reliable of a source you can get according to Nick Strickland from MMALatestNews.com.

Luke Rockhold earned the right to be called Champion after his impressive TKO stoppage over Chris Weidman at UFC 194.

After the bout which earned the Fight of the Night honor, Rockhold expressed a desire to meet fourth-ranked Vitor Belfort to avenge his TKO loss back in 2013.

“Vitor Belfort on a silver platter would be a beautiful thing,” Rockhold stated at the UFC 194 post-fight press conference. However, from a rankings standpoint, Yoel Romero is the clear-cut number one contender after emerging victorious over third-ranked Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a closely contested battle on the same night Rockhold would hear Bruce Buffer say, “and NEW!”

Rockhold is currently on a five-fight winning streak, whereas Romero has won seven straight.  

With Chris Weidman out of the conversation for an immediate rematch, the middleweight title picture is almost as clear as it can get. Rockhold knew the Romero fight was imminent as he stated at the UFC 194 post presser, “That fight will happen. Me and Yoel will have to fight. We know this is coming.”

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