Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy is in the books from Portland with two title fights. Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold came out and controlled his opponent against the cage early on. He landed some shots, but Kennedy fought back with a good double leg. Rockhold went for the choke early in the econd, but Kennedy escaped. Rockhold continued to use his range and kicks to win the round. The champion landed a right hook in the third, followed by a left. The fourth round saw Rockhold land a hard right and a mount on Kennedy. Tim Kennedy fought a tough fight, but Luke Rockhold controlled the cage and pushed the action. Ultimately he defended his title with a unanimous decision victory.
Nathan Marquardt made his Strikeforce debut this evening against the undefeated Tyron Woodley in a Welterweight title fight opportunity. Woodley rocked Marquardt with a right hand and took his back. Marquardt came back with a vicious right of his own and went for a guillotine. In the second Marquardt landed a good spinning back kick and a trip takedown. Woodley rocked Marquardt in the third and scored some ground-and-pound. Marquardt came out aggressive in the fourth round, knocking Woodley out with a great elbow and two vicious uppercuts against the cage.
Roger Gracie came into his fight with Keith Jardine by dropping more weight to fight at 185 lbs. Gracie used his touted ground game to land strikes from top position in the first two rounds.He had only one loss on his MMA record, and did not add to that tonight with a clear-cut decision win over the veteran Jardine.
Lorenz Larkin also dropped a weight class to Middleweight after his no-contest bout with Muhammed Lawal, who was found to have used steroids. After surviving a vicious bomb from Robbie Lawler in the first round, Larkin was able to come back and use his effective kickboxing. Lawler appeared to gas later on in the bout, allowing Larkin to have a successful debut at 185 lbs. with a unanimous decision victory.
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy Full Results:
Luke Rockhold def. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision
Nate Marquardt def. Tyron Woodley via KO (elbows and punches)
Roger Gracie def. Keith Jardine via unanimous decision
Lorenz Larkin def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision
Pat Healy def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision
Ryan Couture def. Joe Duarte via split decision
Jorge Masvidal def. Justin Wilcox via split decision
Jordan Mein def. Tyler Stinson via unanimous decision
Jason High def. Nate Moore via submission (guillotine)
Performance of the Night: Nathan Marquardt made his Strikeforce debut with a bang, winning the promotion’s Welterweight championship by knocking out the undefeated Tyron Woodley.
Finish of the Night: Marquardt again earns the nod with his emphatic combo of elbows and power uppercuts to answer all of his doubters afrer a log, controversy-filled layoff.
Upset of the Night: Lorenz Larkin defeated one of Strikeforce’s most powerful and well-known strikers in Robbie Lawler tonight.