Luke Rockhold Must Fight Tim Kennedy Before Calling out UFC Fighters

Dale De SouzaAnalyst IJanuary 25, 2012

(Orignal Photo: Esther Lin/All Elbows)
(Orignal Photo: Esther Lin/All Elbows)

What can anyone say about Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold at this point in his career that has not already been said?

Not a whole lot of love might be directed at Rockhold as far as his expected win over Keith Jardine goes, but the choice to have Jardine step in for Tim Kennedy was not Rockhold's fault.

Injuries happen as part of the sport, and by now, it should be the norm that we'll hear something about fights getting modified and scratched due to injuries, so the Rockhold-Kennedy change to Rockhold-Jardine is not a big enough deal to distract anyone from the improvements Rockhold has made since beating Jacare Souza in September 2011.

However, nothing makes sense outside of a bout with Kennedy, who not only defeated Melvin Manhoef, but also did the seemingly impossible and defeated Robbie Lawler.

Seriously speaking, Rockhold does not have many more tests ahead of him in Strikeforce, aside from Kennedy, unless Robbie Lawler blasts through his next few foes.

Nonetheless, Rockhold should recognize that while he may not have many contenders left, he still does have some.

Kennedy is an all-around skilled fighter who lands heavy blows standing up, presents a very strong submission game on the ground and offers a sound mix of heart, grit, cardio and the ability to set a pace with which most middleweights cannot contend.

Rockhold needs that sort of challenge now while he still has the opportunity to test himself, because without it, how long can he hope to survive in the UFC?