Coming up this Saturday night, July 14, Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy will be brought to you from inside the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Strikeforce put on a show and to make up for that, they’re giving us not one, but two, title fights. Let’s take a look at the Main Card and see what’s going to be going down tomorrow night.
The first bout to be shown on the Showtime broadcast will feature Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (12-0-1) as he makes his Middleweight debut against the heavy-handed “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (19-8-1). After Larkin suffered his first career loss to King Mo in the beginning of the year, it was eventually changed to a No Contest after Mo tested positive for steroids. The goal by Lawler will be to give Larkin an official loss in the only way that he knows how: throwing big punches. With both men being comfortable on their feet, you can expect this to be a great standup battle that will probably not make it to the judges’ scorecards.
The next bout on the broadcast is a Light Heavyweight contest between BJJ Specialist Roger Gracie (4-1) and UFC-veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (17-10-2). With both fighters coming off of brutal first round KO losses in their last Strikeforce appearance and are definitely going to be looking to turn things around and get back on the right path. In Jardine’s last fight, he challenged Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship and was looking up at the ref from his back shortly before the end of the first round. In facing Roger, he’s going to have to be more focused on defending submissions than punches. With all four of his victories coming by way of submission, Gracie will need to stick to his bread and butter and avoid those awkward strikes that Jardine is known for.
The Co-Main Event of the evening will be a clash for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship as Nate “The Great” Marquardt (31-10-2) takes on Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (10-0). After some ups and downs regarding some “medical issues” and his release from the UFC and BAMMA, Marquardt is back and ready to make his Strikeforce debut. Not doing him any favors, Strikeforce executives have matched him up with the former D-I wrestler, Woodley. Although Marquardt is known better for his striking, he is definitely no slouch in the grappling department. Woodley, too, is comfortable working outside his strengths. When the cage door locks, these two fighters should cause some fireworks en route to finally crowning a new Welterweight Champion.
The Main Event of the evening features Luke Rockhold (9-1) as he looks to defend his Middleweight Championship against Tim Kennedy (14-3). With both men being predominant grapplers, it’ll be interesting to see how much the striking comes into play and how much it’ll make a difference in each man’s gameplan. The last time Kennedy was in a championship bout, he lost a close decision to Jacare Souza, who Rockhold beat via decision just one month later to claim the title. Although the Kennedy/Jacare decision was a close one, Kennedy will be looking to come out and claim what he feels should be rightfully his.
Be sure to follow MMAValor.com for all your fight news, updates and Strikeforce news!