Luke Rockhold expects to fight Tim Kennedy in January

It looks like Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold may have his first title-defense lined up for early 2012, a notion also giving weight to the argument that the promotion will survive beyond their December 17 show and isn’t going away just yet.

According to the 8-1 American Kickboxing Academy product, he’s been approached by Strikeforce brass urging him to get back in the gym in anticipation of an upcoming match-up, and though they did not mention a specific opponent there appears to be one individual Rockhold is focused on more than any other.

“I think Tim Kennedy is out there, and from what I’ve been told, that’s probably my next fight,” Rockhold explained to Tatame. “Nothing’s official, but they told me to get into train camp and get ready. So, I’m thinking January I’ll be fighting and, most probably, it’ll be Tim Kennedy.”

Rockhold also revealed he has his eyes on a run inside the Octagon and wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of his Strikeforce peers join him there.

“I look forward going to the UFC,” said Rockhold. “I think me, Kennedy and (Ronaldo Souza) would be very well in the UFC.”

Kennedy Rumored to Join UFC Roster

The 27-year old earned his belt by outpointing Souza in September, easily the toughest draw of his young career. The 13-3 Kennedy went five full rounds against “Jacare” as well in a 2010 title-fight, coming up short on the scorecards in his go at the dynamic Brazilian. However, he has won two fights since beating Melvin Manhoef and Robbie Lawler.