UFC on Fox 7: Strikeforce Champion Luke Rockhold Challenges Costa Philippou

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIJanuary 16, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Costa Phillippou celebrates his victory over Tim Boetsch during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, the Strikeforce champions are now calling their own shots upon arriving in the UFC.

Both Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez took to calling out fighters in recent weeks and both men received their opponent of choice at UFC on Fox 7.

On Wednesday, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold told MMAfighting.com that he wants to join the party, and he even has an opponent in mind.

"I think Costa Philippou makes the most sense right now," he said. "He's coming off a win, and I think he's a good opponent. Let's get it on at [UFC on FOX 7]."

Rockhold is a striker out of American Kickboxing Academy and twice defended his championship before the promotion's demise. By calling out Philippou, the American is choosing a fellow striker who is pulling a steam train of momentum behind him.  

After defeating world-ranked Tim Boetsch at UFC 155, Philippou finds himself sitting pretty with a 5-0 record in the UFC middleweight division. Stylistically, this is the kind of bout that the Serra-Longo fighter wants to take, as he is a willing participant of any stand up affair.

UFC on Fox 7 takes place in Strikeforce's back yard of San Jose, California on Saturday, April 20. Typically, a Fox special will feature four fights on the main card.

Currently, the UFC has announced three bouts for the event. 

The main event is a title unification bout between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez. Melendez is a five-time defending champion who holds a 21-2 record as a professional and has avenged both of his career losses.

The evening's co-main event is an important heavyweight battle between Strikeforce Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier and former UFC champion Frank Mir. On Saturday night, Cormier called out Mir after putting together a second-round win at the final Strikeforce event.

Also announced for the card is a slugger's specialty in the welterweight division when Dan Hardy meets surging brawler Matt Brown.

If Rockhold and Philippou are signed for San Jose, this could be the most intriguing offering that the UFC has put on Fox. 

Stay tuned to Bleacher Report MMA for the latest updates on all things UFC on Fox 7.