Ronaldo Souza draws Derek Brunson at Strikeforce event in March

This March, former Strikeforce middleweight champ Ronaldo Souza will take the first step of his journey back towards the title he lost to Luke Rockhold when he sees action in Columbus, Ohio against unbeaten finisher Derek Brunson. Though not officially announced by the organization, Brunson took to Twitter on Thursday night to reveal he’d been booked to battle the widely respected submission specialist.

Brunson currently holds a 9-0 mark including seven opening round stoppages and a fairly even split between TKOs/tap-outs. The 28-year old, who spends much of his time training with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico, last fought in November where he outpointed Nate James at Strikeforce Challengers 20.

In “Jacare” Brunson will face the stiffest test of his career, a 14-3 BJJ blackbelt with past victories over Matt Lindland, Jason Miller, Robbie Lawler, and Tim Kennedy. The March 3 fight will come nearly six months to the day Souza dropped his belt to Rockhold after a hotly contested five round affair.

Souza Retires from BJJ Competitions to Focus 100% on MMA

Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Tate is headlined by Miesha Tate’s defense of her bantamweight belt against Olympic judoka Ronda Rousey with other match-ups including Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki, Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle, and KJ Noons vs. Josh Thomson.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE