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Who’s the Number 1 Contender?

04-22-2015, by JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com

This past Saturday night we had two top middleweight fights who were our to prove they were the rightful number one contender and both showed they were dominant in their fights. Both won by submissions which is very rare to see happen. With all this happening everyone is saying one man is the rightful number 1 contender and others are saying that the other man is as well. Both of these men are former Strikeforce World Middleweight Champions and have fought before. I am talking about none other then Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Since Strikeforce was bought out by the UFC these men have been on a tear in the UFC with Jacare winning 5 straight fights and Rockhold 4-1. Lets take a closer look at these men.

Rondaldo “Jacare” Souza has a record of 22-3-0(1) and he was the Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion and a runner up for the Dream Middleweight World Grand-Prix. Jacare is a truly one of the most dangerous BJJ stylists in MMA with 15 championships in both submission wrestling and jiu-jitsu winning 5 silver medals and 10 gold medals. Jacare means Alligator in Portuguese. He got that nickname for being that in his tournament days. Also, his favorite move is the arm triangle choke.

When Jacare began his MMA career he was on a tear before making it to Dream where he was 10-1-0. We saw him do well and get to the finals of the Dream World Middleweight Grand-Prix. However, once he meet Gegard Mousasi, he met his match and got TKOed in the first round. When Mousasi left for Strikeforce, Jacare got his chance at the Dream title again but it went to a no-contest. After that fight Strikeforce saw something in Jacare and gave him a contract and after two fights where he was dominant he got his chance at the vacant Strikeforce World Middleweight Championship where he fought Tim Kennedy in a 5 round war. Jacare that took the UD and belt home in that fight.

Jacare’s first title defense was qith current UFC World Welterweight Champion, Robbie Lawler. When they got to the ground Jacare showed why they call him the Alligator by choking out Lawler in the 3rd round. In Jacare’s second title defense he took on Rockhold in another 5-round war which both men left everything in the cage. In the end, it was Rockhold for the UD and he took the title with him. After that loss Jacare came back stronger and was determined to win back the title. After the 3 fights he was suppose to get his chance for the title rematch but the UFC bought out Strikeforce before that could take place. The UFC took Jacare along with a lot more fighters and brought them into the UFC where Jacare is now 5-0. Since coming into the UFC he has only had 1 UD win and the rest were won by submission.

Luke Rockhold has a record of 14-2-0 and was the last man to hold onto the Strikeforce World Middleweight Championship along with that had two title defenses as well. Like Jacare, Rockhold has two gold medals in submission grappling. Rockhold is a grappler all the way with training in Judo since the age of 6 years old then when he turned 10 he started wrestling in 7th grade also started learning jiu-jitsu as well. While in college Rockhold knew that wrestling wasn’t for him and wanted to try something else so a few friends told him he should go to American Kickboxing Academy to try out MMA which he did. After only having 2 pro fights in MMA Strikeforce gave Rockhold a contract and he didn’t disapoint at all with 5 wins by submission and 1 by TKO he got his shot at the Strikeforce World Middleweight Championship against Jacare and like I said before these men had a 5 round war and it was Rockhold who took the UD win and title home. Rockholds first title defense was against TUF/UFC Vet Keith Jardine who isn’t a push over at all but that night it was Rockhold who came to win and did so by beating Jardine with TKO punchs in the first round. Rockholds second title defense was against Tim Kennedy with another 5 round war Rockhold came out on to and became the last man to have the Strikeforce belt. When the UFC bought Strikeforce they took a lot of there fighters one of them being Rockhold and in his first UFC fight he took on former UFC World Light-Heavyweight Champion and number one contender for the UFC World Middleweight Championship Vitor Belfort both these men looked really good but it was Belfort for the win with his spinning heel kick in the first round. After that fight Rockhold wanted to show that he was a champion and wanted that shot at the belt which he has with 1 fight by TKO and 3 straight fights by submission.

Now the question is who is the number 1 contender ? Yes I said that Vitor Belfort is the number one contender but he is fighting for the championship on May 23 and we will find out who the champion is but after that we want to know who the going to be the next in line. Dana White has said that he is happy to see that there are two men who are the number one contenders and if anything happens both these men could be called up.

Who do you think is the rightful number one contender?

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