Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy Fight Card Primer

Luke Rockhold (185) makes weight during the Strikeforce weigh-ins on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 in Cincinnati. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting.

This Saturday, Strikeforce presents their latest event, Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. Headlined by a pair of title fights, the show features four main card fights airing on Showtime, plus five prelim fights. The prelims for this card are actually a bit better than normal, with fighters like Ryan Couture, Jorge Masvidal, and Mizuto Hirota all competing, but here, we'll focus on the four main card fights. Be sure to check Dallas Winston's great prelim dissection for more on those prelim fights. Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy airs this Saturday July 14 on Showtime, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

The highlights here are clearly the two title fights. The title scene in Strikeforce has always been a little bumpy, but it's been even more messy ever since the Zuffa buyout, with numerous titles vacant. Gilbert Melendez has managed to bring some stability and credibility to the Lightweight title - can the winners here do the same at Middleweight and Welterweight?

Luke Rockhold (9-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (14-3) [MW Title]

Luke Rockhold looks to make his second defense of the belt here. He won it from Jacare last September in a mild upset, and defended it in a KO of Keith Jardine in January. Our rankings have him as the #7 Middleweight, but he's still not widely recognized as a real top level fighter. He brings a good mix of ground game and striking from his time at AKA, and he's faced a steadily rising level of competition, always succeeding. At 27 years old and 5 years into his career, he has a bright future ahead of him.

Tim Kennedy is well known for his decorated Army career, and has been able to juggle his time in the Army with his MMA career successfully so far. He really hit his stride in Strikeforce, and has gone 5-1 for the organization, with the lone loss coming against Jacare. Here, he comes in off a win over Robbie Lawler last July, but he has been inactive ever since. Kennedy has a greast story, and would make a very marketable champion, and he definitely has the skills to win this.

Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (10-0) [WW Title]

This one is for the Welterweight title, which has been vacant since Nick Diaz left for the UFC. Tyron Woodley is sort of the uncrowned champion, as he has used his wrestling to win 8 straight in Strikeforce. Like many wrestlers, he's also often accused of putting on incredibly boring fights that focus on control instead of damage. Nate Marquardt makes his Strikeforce debut here in what marks his return to action since his controversial departure from the UFC last summer over issues related to testosterone levels. It's also his Welterweight debut, as he was set to fight at 170 in his cancelled UFC bout, and last year in BAMMA, but neither fight materialized. He's a decorated veteran, with huge credentials, but this is an absolute must win for him.

Last two fights, plus more Strikeforce coverage in the full entry.

SBN coverage of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy

Roger Gracie (4-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-10-2)

Keith Jardine fights for the 3rd time in Strikeforce here. Since being released from the UFC in 2010 on a 4 fight losing streak, Jardine has gone 2-2-1, with his biggest accomplishment being a draw with Gegard Mousasi last year. Jardine is a solid veteran, but his chin has always been a question mark and has become increasingly suspect over the years. At 36 years old, how much does he have left? Roger Gracie is one of the most accomplished submission grapplers we've ever seen in MMA. He has an incredible list of Jiu Jitsu credits to his name, but is now focused on his MMA career. He started that career going 4-0, and comes in here off the first loss of his career - a KO at the hands of King Mo. There's no doubt what Gracie will look to do here, which is drag The Dean of Mean down and tap him out.

Lorenz Larkin (12-0, 1 NC) vs. Robbie Lawler (19-8, 1 NC)

Ruthless Robbie Lawler is one of the true veterans of Strikeforce. An 11 year pro, Lawler has experience in the UFC, Pride, Elite XC, and Strikeforce. He's a long time training partner of Matt Hughes, first at Miletich Fighting Systems and now at The Hit Squad. Lawler is a powerful KO puncher, who has become more technical and patient over the years. But he's struggled to find consistency in Strikeforce, going 3-4. Lorenz Larkin comes in with some solid momentum and an undefeated record. His last fight was against King Mo. Lorenz was knocked out in the 2nd round of that fight, but when Mo later tested positive for steroids, the result was changed to a No Contest. He needs a win here to erase the memory of that KO, even if it was tainted.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy:

Strikeforce: Luke Rockhold Vs. Tim Kennedy Dissection - Dallas Winston

Strikeforce: Tyron Woodley Vs. Nate Marquardt Dissection - Dallas Winston

Strikeforce: Gracie Vs. Jardine, Larkin Vs. Lawler Dissection - Dallas Winston

Gods Of War: Roger Gracie - T.P. Grant

Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy - Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

Strikeforce: Pat Healy's Tale Of A Severed Tongue - Steph Daniels

Video: Roger Gracie Training With Lyoto Machida And Andre Galvao At Black House - Anton Tabuena

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 186: Tim Boetsch, Strikeforce Rockhold vs. Kennedy Preview - Matt Bishop

Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy Fight Card - Tim Burke

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.