Not much of a surprise here, but it appears Santa Cruz’s Luke Rockhold will make his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort, according to the website Tatame, which first reported the bout.
The fight had been rumored in the last several weeks.
MMAFighting.com had a follow-up.
The event is said to be slated for Brazil, although no date has been set. Tatame says the event could happen in April, although that seems unlikely considering the UFC already has three events scheduled that month — with nothing announced for Brazil as of yet.
UFC President Dana White, according to MMAFighting.com, expects the fight to take place in the second quarter of this year.
The fight isn’t much of a shock. White said following a press conference in recent weeks: “We have a fight for Vitor. I think it’s Rockhold. That’s what we’re talking about.”
So there you go.
Belfort, 35, is coming off a victory over Michael Bisping, which shook up the middleweight ladder and removed Bisping from an immediate title shot against Anderson Silva.
Rockhold, the former Strikeforce champ and Soquel High alum who made the leap to the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion in January, has said in the past he wants Silva — and Silva has said the same thing.
But it appears more likely that the winner of Rockhold-Belfort will have the inside edge at Silva, the pound-for-pound top MMA fighter.