One familiar face that planted himself back in the race was former UFC champion Vitor Belfort, who took care of Michael Bisping in dramatic fashion earlier this month with a head kick knockout at UFC on FX 7.
While Belfort is still likely a couple of fights away from possibly earning a rematch with champion Anderson Silva, he can still climb the ladder by beating other top contenders along the way.
The fighter most likely to find himself standing across the Octagon from Belfort next is former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
No contracts have been signed and no deal is done, but UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thursday that a Belfort vs. Rockhold fight is being targeted for a future date if everybody gets on the same page.
“(Luke) Rockhold maybe, I think that’s it. That’s who we’re talking about,” White responded when asked about Vitor Belfort’s next opponent.
Now, White reiterated that the fight is not signed and this is in no way a formal announcement, but as of right now that’s the middleweight bout they hope to put together in the coming weeks.
Luke Rockhold comes to the UFC after an impressive run through the Strikeforce middleweight division where he picked up wins over names such as Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Tim Kennedy and Keith Jardine.
Rockhold has long sought to face the best of the best in the UFC, and if Vitor Belfort is indeed his first test, he’ll certainly get his wish.