Two titles were fought for Saturday night at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy in the Rose Garden of Portland, Oregon. The middleweight belt remained firmly around the waist of Luke Rockhold (10-1) after he handed Tim Kennedy (14-4) a Unanimous Decision defeat and “The Great” Nate Marquardt (32-10-2) gave “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-1) a very cold welcome to the big leagues with a fourth-round KO to capture the vacant welterweight title. Roger Gracie (6-0) handed UFC veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (17-11) a lopsided beating and “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (13-0) remained undefeated at the expense of veteran striker “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-9). Though not the most fan friendly event in Strikeforce history, the card did help to reestablish the middle- and welterweight divisions which have seen a bit of chaos with the recent trend of high profile Strikeforce fighters either moving to the UFC or otherwise compromising their position with Zuffa.
The UFC’s sister promotion Strikeforce returns to action in the Rose Garden of Portland, Oregon for Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on July 14. The night’s main event features a middleweight championship tilt between US Army sniper Tim Kennedy (14-3) and reigning king pin Luke Rockhold (9-1). Co-main duties will see “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) return after a year-long hiatus to face “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-0). The anchor bout of the evening sees two devastating punchers clash as “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (12-0) puts his undefeated record on the line in his middleweight debut against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-8). UFC veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (17-10-2) will pit his eclectic kickboxing style to the test against dangerous submission artist Roger Gracie (4-1).
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.
Luke Rockhold vs. Keith Jardine: Rockhold via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 4:26
Robbie Lawler vs. Adlan Amagov: Lawler via TKO (Flying Knee and Punches), Round 1, 1:48
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Lorenz Larkin: Lawal via TKO (Strikes), Round 2, 2:32
Tyron Woodley vs. Jordan Mein: Woodley via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Tyler Stinson: Saffiedine via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Strikeforce hits the ground running in 2012 as it dishes out MMA action this Saturday night from the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The California-based promotion’s veterans welcome new faces to the main card and hope to stake their claim within their respective divisions. Knockout artist ”The Evolution” Tyler Stinson (22-7) takes on “The Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (11-2) in the main card’s opener. One of the welterweight division’s top dogs, “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (11-0) collides with the fast rising Jordan Mein (22-6). “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (11-0) takes a step out from the Strikeforce: Challengers series to face his stiffest test to date, “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (8-1). Just as many who watch NASCAR hope to see a crash, the casual MMA observer comes to watch someone get knocked out and with Adlan Amagov (2-0) and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-8) suited against each other, the crowd should be on the edge of their seats. Middleweight gold is up for grabs in the main event when champion Luke Rockhold (8-1) defends his newly earned title for the first time against “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (16-9-2). Strikeforce has stepped up its game over the past several years, and if this card is any indication of what’s to come, fans are in for an exciting year.
Some people watch The Ultimate Fighter purely for the fights and don’t like the reality TV element. These people tend to be party-pooping wet blankets who think that they’re too good for a little mindless voyeuristic entertainment. Either way, the stuffy “purists” were treated to almost two hours of nothing but fights on the Season 14 premiere of TUF on Wednesday. The fights were pretty solid – as to be expected from bantamweight and featherweight fighters.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Nick Rossborough: Larkin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Lavar Johnson vs. Shawn Jordan: Jordan via Submission (Keylock), Round 2, 3:08
Ryan Couture vs. Maka Watson: Couture via Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28), Round 3, 5:00
Jason High vs. Todd Moore: High via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Brian Melancon vs. Felipe Portela: Melancon via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
The nineteenth installment of the Strikeforce Challengers series is set to take place Friday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada as another crop of aspiring young fighters seek to break into the Zuffa family. Headlining the card is “The Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin (10-0) who puts his undefeated record on the line against late replacement “Leather Face” Nick Rossborough (20-14). The co-main event for the card finds second generation superstar Ryan Couture (2-1) looking to rebound from his first loss against a tough submission guru, Maka Watson (5-1). Challengers Series stand-out “Big” Lavar Johnson (13-4) returns after a less than successful debut on the Strikeforce main card and attempts to return to form against Shawn Jordan (10-3). One-time UFC veteran Jason High (12-3) will continue his second chance at Zuffa favor in the evening’s second bout against Texas native “Maniac” Todd Moore (13-4) and the night will open with a match-up between toughened ground-and-pounder Brian Melancon (5-2) and undefeated Brazilian “Balboa” Felipe Portela (7-0). The film and file on the fighters is practically non-existent and the combatants themselves are starving for the bright lights of Zuffa stardom, which is always a good mix for the fans of MMA.
Caros Fodor vs. James Terry: Fodor via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Ryan Couture vs. Matt Ricehouse: Ricehouse via Unanimous Decision (2-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Lorenz Larkin vs. Gian Villante: Larkin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Jason High vs. Quinn Mulhern: High via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Julia Budd vs. Germaine de Randamie: Budd via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Derek Brunson vs. Jeremy Hamilton: Brunson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Eduardo Pamplona vs. Jerron Peoples: Pamplona via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:40
Trevor Smith vs. Keith Berry: Smith via Technical Submission, Round 2, 3:02
This Friday night marks the return of Strikeforce’s flagship farm organization, Strikeforce Challengers, as the red hot Caros Fodor (6-1) continues his blitz for a promotion to the Strikeforce main card against Cung Le (7-1) disciple James Terry (9-2). Also slated for action is Ryan Couture (2-0) as he faces Matt Ricehouse (4-0) in an attempt to lay further ground word to build a legacy for himself separate from that of his famed father “The Natural” Randy Couture (19-11). Lorenz Larkin (9-0) will seek to continue his undefeated attack on the heavyweight division as he takes on the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy KO machine Gian Villante (7-2) and kicking off the main card will be “The Jewel” Julia Budd (2-1) and “Iron Lady” Germaine De Randamie (2-1) as the ladies take the cage in an attempt to make waves in the burgeoning Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight division as the first two women to ever fight under a Zuffa banner.
Justin Wilcox vs. Rodrigo Damm: Wilcox via TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage), Round 1, 5:00
Caros Fodor vs. David Douglas: Fodor via TKO (Strikes), Round 3, 2:12
Lorenz Larkin vs. Scott Lighty: Larkin via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 3:15
Josh Thornburg vs. James Terry: Terry via KO (Punch), Round 1, 4:38
Wayne Phillips vs. Damion Douglas: Douglas via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
This Saturday at the “Shark Tank” HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, Strikeforce presents two title fights with its Diaz vs. Cyborg card. The main event will feature current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (22-8) taking on “Cyborg” Evangelista Santos (17-13) for the 170lbs. title along with the co-main event showcasing the classic striker vs. grappler match-up with Jiu-Jitsu ace “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (12-2) defending his middleweight belt against slugger “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6). The crowd will also be treated to Roger Gracie’s (3-0) return to the Strikeforce cage, fighting Lion’s Den graduate Trevor Prangley (22-6-1), as well as the highly anticipated return of 48-year-old former NFL star and current American Kickboxing Academy fighter Herschel Walker (1-0) taking on Scott Carson (4-1) in just his second appearance not only in the Strikeforce promotion, but in the cage. Let’s take a closer look at this fight.