Prior to claiming the Strikeforce middleweight title, Luke Rockhold made a bold prediction.
A few days after Brazilian fighters swept their American counterparts at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Rockhold told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he expected revenge.
In fact, he promised he and his American Kickboxing Academy teammates would sweep their Brazilian opponents at Saturday's "Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov" event. Following an AKA clean sweep, no one's doubting him now.
"I had confidence in my camp," Rockhold told MMAjunkie.com after Saturday's event at Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena. "Everyone was just rising to the occasion. We were just pushing each other really hard through this camp.
"Yeah, AKA. Don't step on our turf."
Rockhold (8-1 MMA, 7-0 SF), of course, did his part by upsetting champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (14-3 MMA, 4-1 SF) via unanimous decision. The fighter, who's spent the majority of his career developing under the Strikeforce banner, fought in a featured bout on the night's Showtime-televised main card. While the media's cageside scoring ranged from 48-47 for Rockhold to MMAjunkie.com's 49-46 score for Souza, the judges saw it more clearly and awarded the new champ the victory, 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47.LINK