The second promotional child of the Zuffa family unloaded with its first offering of the new year last night as Strikeforce presented Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine. The card featured reigning Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold (9-1), who defended his belt against “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (16-10-2), and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-8) who put his devastating left hand up against the crisp kickboxing of Adlan Amagov (2-1). Also appearing on the main card were wrestling stand-outs “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (9-1) and “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (12-0) who tested their mettle against “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (11-1) and Jordan Mein (22-6). Opening the card was a tightly contested bout between “The Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (12-2) and “The Evolution” Tyler Stinson (22-8). The fights lived up to the expectations of the fans and ushered in 2012 on a good note for Strikeforce. Here’s how things went down.
The 170lbs. division is gearing up for another season-long Bellator tournament set to kick off in March. With a wealth of returning talent, two towering giants, a UFC veteran, and a wrecking machine all set to meet inside the Bellator cage, the fireworks are sure to fly. Eight hungry contenders will enter but only one will earn a title shot.
Returning to the cage after his tournament finale loss to eventual champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (19-4) is “Killa B” Ben Saunders (12-3). A Bruce Lee-inspired approach to fighting has lead the man who owns some of the deadliest knees and elbows in MMA to the finals before, and this time Saunders will make the needed adjustments to rectify the mistake. Saunders has the talent, the range, and the aggression to beat anyone at any time but in Season 6 he will have even more motivation to prove it.