Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold lobbied for stiffer competition after walking through Keith Jardine in his first title-defense. While Tim Kennedy and Ronaldo Souza are both apt adversaries and likely to challenge Rockhold in the near future, it looks like another 185er has entered the mix – Roger Gracie.

Gracie, a light heavyweight holding a 4-1 record in MMA and countless accomplishments in the BJJ world, has indeed decided to drop down to 185 pounds as had been rumored last month. The move was confirmed today by manager Ed Soares via MMAFighting who also revealed Gracie had joined Team Blackhouse, home of fighters like Anderson Silva and the Nogueira brothers.

The 30-year old hasn’t fought since September when he was knocked out by Muhammed Lawal, the first and only defeat of Gracie’s career. Prior to the stumble he’d beaten the likes of Trevor Prangley and Kevin Randleman despite his minimal cage-time in comparison to both veterans.

No word was mentioned on when Gracie might make his middleweight debut though Strikeforce does have a card planned for May 19.


MMATraining Take: As long as he can cut the weight in a healthy way this should be a great move for Gracie. He’s uber-talented, albeit raw, and would be one of the larger 185ers in MMA at 6’4” giving him more of an advantage than he currently has fighting guys who are all in that height-range.