Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine LowKick.com Staff PredictionsPosted on January 6, 2012, 07:56 AM by Anton Gurevich
Strikeforce Middleweight Title: Luke Rockhold (Champ) vs. Keith Jardine
Staff Picks: Rockhold - 5, Jardine - 1
Community Top Pick: Rockhold via KO/TKO in Round 4
Finishes: 7Streak: W-W-W-W-W
Joey Santosus: With a 2-5-1 mark in his last eight outings, and zero fights at 185-pounds, Keith Jardine's place in this bout has more to do with a lack of depth in the division than impressive win streaks or dominant victories. Overlook this, however, and you're left with an experienced, unorthodox fighter, who will step into the cage on Saturday with more than 3-times the amount of fights as his opponent. Luke Rockhold is no pushover, though, and if allowed to create distance, his versatile striking and impressive timing is likely to prove problematic for "The Dean of Mean." Nonetheless, look for the champ to struggle with Jardine's perplexing style, finding his rhythm too little too late. Keith Jardine via Decision.
Anton Gurevich: I feel like Keith Jardine is fed to the (young) lions here. Luke Rockhold has a clear advantage in every aspect and dimension of Mixed Martial Arts here, also because Keith Jardine has zero fights at Middleweight. The Dean of Mean is a respected veteran, who has the necessary experience to deliver an upset. However, I believe Luke Rockhold, who looks to come from the same breed of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, will become one of the Top 3 Middleweights in 2012, with a victory over Keith Jardine as a starting point to his run. Rockhold via KO/TKO in Round 3.
Trent Reinsmith: This is a very odd title fight as the challenger; Jardine has a record of 3-6-1 in his last ten fights and has never fought at Middleweight before. I’ll move past that fact to get to the breakdown. Honestly, I don’t see anywhere that Jardine is stronger than Rockhold in this fight. Add the weight cut to Middleweight for Jardine at the age of 36 and things just look bad for the “Dean of Mean.” Rockhold has only gone the distance once in his nine pro fights and I don’t expect him to do so in this fight either, I expect that Jardine will tire as the fight progresses and will not be able to fend off the submission. Rockhold by fourth round submission.
Bryan Fontez: Alright I'm not gonna lie... This fight is both slightly strange and slightly useless. It's a prime example of the horrible state that SF is currently in. A state of Option-less chaos. But while it may not make that much sense, it's still kind of interesting. Or at least we can pretend it is. Coming off an impressive UD to strip the belt from former champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Sousa, Luke Rockhold will be defending his belt for the first time against a bigger more experienced fighter. But does that experience really matter when more than half of it was spent losing? Keith Jardine's severely awkward style will always be somewhat of an advantage, But I expect the guy who dominated Jacare to come out and outclass the Dean of Mean. Luke Rockhold via Unanimous Decision
Evan Holober: Luke Rockhold is a beast, just ask Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. His frame is perfect for MW; as he is very long, but does not carry excess muscle. "The Dean of the goatee" (Keith Jardine) is little more than a journeyman at this stage of his career. He gutted out a draw with Gegard Mousasi in his last foray into the Strikeforce hexagon, but it appears that had more to do with Gegard's lack of takedown defense. Rockhold won't have that trouble Saturday, and will be gunning for Jardine's notroriously soft chin from the first second on. Look for Luke to hurt Keith early with something flashy, and finish him on the ground quickly after. Luke Rockhold via TKO in Round 1.
Daniel Cassidy: While the big question remains as to whether or not Keith Jardine deserves a title shot in his first venture to Middleweight, the fact remains, The Dean of Mean is a tough opponent for anyone (just ask Forrest Griffin or Chuck Liddell). Despite being a strong underdog against the Champion, Jardine will prove a very tough test for Rockhold. The Strikeforce Champion previously upset the odds when he took on and unanimously defeated "Jacare" last September. In the fight, I believe Rockhold's training under AKA and his brown belt under Dave Camerillo will be the deciding factor in this bout. I expect Rockhold to pepper Jardine with shots early, before setting up a takedown and working for a submission as the fight goes on, and his opponent tires. I expect Rockhold to patiently pick away at Jardine before putting him away with a submission in rounds 3 or 4.