411’s Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy Report 7.14.12
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy
Rose Garden Arena
Luke Rockhold (185) vs. Tim Kennedy (184.5) – for middleweight title
Nate Marquardt (169.5) vs. Tyron Woodley (169.5) – for vacant welterweight title
Roger Gracie (186) vs. Keith Jardine (185.5)
Lorenz Larkin (186) vs. Robbie Lawler (186)
Pat Healy (156) vs. Mizuto Hirota (156)
Ryan Couture (155.5) vs. Joe Duarte (155.5)
Jorge Masvidal (155.5) vs. Justin Wilcox (156)
Jordan Mein (170) vs. Tyler Stinson (170.5)
Jason High (171) vs. Nate Moore (171)
Jason High defeats Nate Moore via guillotine choke submission (:26) in round 1.
Jordan Mein defeats Tyler Stinson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jorge Masvidal defeats Justin Wilcox by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Ryan Couture defeats Joe Duarte by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Pat Healy defeats Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
– We are live in Portland for the first Strikeforce event since May when Daniel Cormier was crowned the heavyweight grand prix champion! Mauro Ranaullo, Frank Shamrock and Pat Miletich are cage side with the call on Showtime. Shamrock, the first SF middleweight champion, breaks down tonights main event while Miletich, the first UFC welterweight champion, talks the nights co-main event feature.
– Womens bantamweight number one contender Sarah Kaufman is cageside and they air highlights from her last victory. She’s set to challenge champion Ronda Rousey next month on Showtime!
Middleweight bout: Robbie Lawler (18-8) vs. Lorenz Larkin (12-0, 1 NC)
– Jimmy Lennon Jr. is the cage announcer. Larkin is back for his first fight since January’s contest against King Mo Lawal in the light heavyweight division. Despite losing by technical knockout, a post-fight positive drug test by Lawal rendered the decision stricken from the record books and changed to a no contest. Lawler has his asthma concerns under control and last fought in January when he knocked out Adlan Amagov in the first round. Only discernible difference in the tale of the tape is a 2.5″ reach advantage for Lawler.
ROUND ONE: Big John McCarthy is the referee. Feeling out process begins, Lawler throws a leg kick. Minute into the fight, Lawler lands a right cross and Larkin is hurt. Lawler steps on the gas, lands a couple punches against the cage but Larkin clinches. Larkin trips Lawler to the ground and from his guard is throwing big elbows. Lawler tries to maintain wrist control but Larkin is now moving to side control, but Lawler scrambles up to his feet. Larkin has him against the cage. Knee to the body from Larkin. Larkin unloads with some punches and a knee, Lawler blocks them. WIld exchange against the cage, Larkin backing away but lands an uppercut. Lawler has the position on Larkin against the cage. One minute left. Larkin lands a series of punches and a knee. Muay Thai clinch, Larkin lands another uppercut.
SCORECARD: Lorenz Larkin, 10-9
ROUND TWO: They exchange leg kicks. Larkin throws a series of kicks, none do damage. Lawler eats a kick to the inside of his right leg. Larkin lands a straight left. Larkin lands a straight right and moves in with a barrage of strikes including a pair of leaping knees. Lawler holds him against the cage. Lawler is trying to take him down but Larkin is defending well. Larkin grabs hold of a guillotine choke but Lawler escapes by twisting around. Back standing, Larkin use the Muay Thai clinch, Lawler backs him up against the cage. 90 seconds left. Lawler not throwing any strikes whatsoever. Now Larkin has Lawler’s back against the cage, and they reverse again. Referee separates them and restarts them in the center of the cage. Larkin misses a head kick…or did he? Lawler is cut on the right side of his forehead, from the kick (his knee hit Lawler).
SCORECARD: Larkin, 10-9 (20-18)
ROUND THREE: Lawler is on attack mode, coming forward like a stalker. Lawler has Larkin against the cage but is not going for any strikes. He’s attempting a single leg takedown but Larkin is defending well. Lawler lands a big left hook. Larkin with a knee and a spinning backfist misses. Center cage. Lawler lands a left head kick. Push kick and a front kick from Larkin. Two minutes left. Lawler misses an uppercut, lands a left hook. Larkin lands a straight right. Lawler’s cut is opening up. Left hook and an uppercut combo from Larkin. Lawler’s right eye has blood dripping into it. 45 seconds left. Larkin lands a right, Lawler lands a cross. Head kick thrown by Lawler is blocked. Straight from Larkin lands. Combination from Larkin lands flush on Lawler’s head, as do a pair of elbows. They go down swinging as the bell sounds.
SCORECARD: Larkin, 10-9 (30-27)
OFFICIAL RESULT: Lorenz Larkin wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
– Larkin joins Ranaullo. He began camp at over 230-pounds and made the 185-pound weight limit. Refers to Lawler as Strikeforce’s “most deadliest striker.” Lorenz says the main event will be a toss-up and can’t predict a winner. Larkin gets down on his knees, calls out Dana White and says Strikeforce fighters need bonuses. “PLEASE, PLEASE, LET STRIKEFORCE GET BONUSES. WE’RE YOUR FAMILY TOO, BABY!”
– Heidi Androl is joined by Sarah Kaufman and Julie Kedzie (she fights Miesha Tate). Kedzie insists she will show why she deserves a spot in Strikeforce when she fights Tate. Kaufman says Ronda Rousey has never fought anyone like her and she wants the gold. Kaufman says confidently she will win with her boxing.
– August 18, Mama Ranaullo’s birthday is the date of the next Strikeforce card.
Middleweight bout: Roger Gracie (4-1) vs. Keith Jardine (16-11-2)
-Gracie is making his middleweight debut, after cutting 18 pounds since he made weight. He last fought in 2011 when he was knocked out by King Mo following an accidental headbutt. Jardine fought Luke Rockhold in January and was knocked out, this is his second fight in the weight class.
ROUND ONE: Shawn Gregory is the referee. Jardine throws a left hook, but it doesn’t land. Left jab from Gracie. Gracie backs him up and they clinch against the cage. Gracie trips him down and lands in half guard. Roger Gracie is trying to move to side control but Jardine is defending well. Now, Gracie lands an elbow. Going for the neck, Jardine backs up to the cage. Gracie keep the pressure on, lands a knee as Jardine rises to his feet. Another trip and Jardine is down to the mat. Gracie forces Jardine to his back, grabs a wrist, traps his left arm and lands a few punches. Two punches land flush to Jardine’s face. Keith is trying to get his arm back. Gracie mounts him and lands a few punches. 50 seconds left. Gracie moves him towards the center of the cage. A series of short elbows land against Jardine’s face. Gracie looking for a triangle, lands more elbows as Jardine’s left eye is cut open and the round ends.
SCORECARD: Roger Gracie, 10-9 (I may even say 10-8, since he dominated the round)
ROUND TWO: Roger Gracie throws a front kick. Jardine coming forward trying to land punches but gets taken down for his trouble. Roger is right in front of Renzo Gracie, too. Roger, again, isolates Jardine’s left arm. Roger landing punches before taking Jardine’s back. He’s going for the neck. Rear naked choke is almost locked on. Jardine’s cut is bleeding again. Gracie is having trouble getting the choke. Roger has a body lock on Jardine and he’s pulling on his shoulder. Jardine is covered in blood, the proverbial crimson mask. Gracie still going for the choke but Jardine is so slippery. He HAS IT, no he doesn’t. He just cannot get his arm under Jardine’s chin. Now, Gracie is throwing punches and Jardine cannot go anywhere because of the body lock. The crowd is actually booing this. 50 seconds left. Gracie moves to mount and has the arm triangle, but now Jardine is getting out. Gracie, still in the mount, landing some strikes with under 20 seconds left. Gracie throws two elbows as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Gracie, 10-8 (this is just ridiculous, 20-17)
ROUND THREE: Jardine is all cleaned up. Jardine lands a single punch to the body. His speed is long gone. Roger Gracie is playing it safe, not committing to anything. Jardine avoids a straight right, and lands a combination. Gracie shoots for a takedown, they clinch against the cage. Jardine frees himself. Jardine throws a wild combination but Gracie blocks. Gracie breathing heavily. Under 2 minutes left. Jardine is throwing punch but they’re missing. Gracie clinches and lands a knee. Back to the center of the cage with 90 seconds. The crowd reacts to Jardine lifting his hands in the air (like he just don’t care?). 60 seconds left. Jardine lunges forward with a left hand but misses. Gracie lands a jab, and another. Jardine landed a leg check. 10 seconds left, Jardine goes down swinging.
SCORECARD: Keith Jardine, 10-9 (26-29)
OFFICIAL RESULT: Roger Gracie wins by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
– Roger Gracie joins Mauro. He’s not happy, he couldn’t get the submission because of all the blood.
– Jardine landed 15 strikes in the entire fight. Roger didn’t do much better, he landed 41 (although he did connect on 68% of them).
– Daniel Cormier will return to Strikeforce on Showtime on September 29 against an unnamed opponent.
– They run down the preliminary fights featuring wins by Jordan Mein, Jorge Masvidal, Ryan Couture and Pat Healy. Now, the question is whether Strikeforce will offer Healy the next crack at lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Well, don’t you know…
– Heidi Androl is joined by Pat “Bam Bam” Healy. He dedicates the fight to a friend who suffered a loss in his family. Healy believes he earned a title shot, he needs the title fight.
Welterweight Championship bout: Tyron Woodley (10-0) vs. Nate Marquardt (34-10-2)
– Woodley last fought in January when he earned a split decision victory against Jordan Mein. Marquardt has not fought since March 2011 when he defeated Dan Miller at UFC 128, this fight marks his Strikeforce debut. He is off testosterone replacement therapy after being fired by the UFC for being unable to control his testosterone levels in the days before fighting Rick Story.
– Deborah Woodley, Tyron’s mother is in the crowd and is boisterously supporting her son. Her clothing is gold colored as if she knows something we don’t.
ROUND ONE: Dave Hagan is the referee. Woodley comes forward and throws a kick. Marquardt accidentally landed a shot to Woodley’s cup but they resume without a break. Marquardt throws a left high kick. Marquardt eats a punch and gets taken down. Woodley has his back and throws knees to the body. Marquardt is on one knee, then stands up. Marquardt spins around and they’re clinched against the cage. Woodley eats a knee to the face. They exchange more knees. They separate. Woodley gets staggered with a punch, but he gets right back up. Marquardt has hold of his neck and they’re on the ground. Woodley spins free. Wow, Marquardt is walking forward and throws bombs. Against the cage now, Marquardt has the pressure on Woodley and lands an elbow to the head. They separate, Woodley may be bleeding from the mouth. Marquardt with a body punch. He’s definitely bleeding from the mouth, Woodley is. Marquardt landing knees against the cage. 55 seconds left. Woodley with the plum clinch and lands a knee. Woodley throws a body kick. Marquardt lands a right hand and they clinch again. 30 seconds left. Tough round to judge. Marquardt lands a combination as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Nate Marquardt, 10-9
ROUND TWO: Marquardt is stalking the undefeated Woodley. Woodley lands a spinningbackfist but Marquardt is not the worse for wear. If you’re wondering, Nate definitely looks like he’s a weight class above Tyron. Big leg kick from Nate. Woodley shoots in for a takedown but Nate blocks it and they return to a standing position in the center of the cage. Woodley circling the cage, Marquardt as the center. Nate landing a few leg kicks. 90 seconds left. Marquardt lands a spinning back kick perfectly. Woodley lands a jab but Marquardt comes forward with a combination and takes Tyron down. In Tyron’s open guard, Marquardt lands a few punches but Woodley steps up and gets back to his feet. They exchange strikes but Marquardt lands a few body shots as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Marquardt, 10-9 (20-18)
ROUND THREE: Woodley throws a pair of three-punch combinations and ends up knocking Marquardt down with a big punch. Woodley throws bombs on the ground, a barrage of punches and elbows. Marquardt is trying to push off but closes his guard. Marquardt going for the armbar, but Woodley squashes that. Back in his closed guard, Woodley appears to have bloodied Marquardt’s nose. Referee warns them to work. Woodley trying to stay active but Marquardt is doing a good job of controlling his body. The referee stands them up in the middle of the cage. Woodley misses a superman punch. Marquardt misses a right cross. Two minutes left. Tyron lands a left cross. Marquardt goes to the body with punches and lands a few shots to the head. 50 seconds left. Marquardt swings and Tyron clinches. A big elbow lands on Tyron’s head. Nate lands a few more strikes from the clinch as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Tyron Woodley, 10-9 (27-28)
ROUND FOUR: The championship rounds are here! Nate lands a jab to the body. A big jab hits Tyron in the mush. Marquardt lands a combination as Woodley came in with a punch. Marquardt lands a right cross, a right jab and then Woodley clinches. Against the cage, Nate lands a brutal elbow with a series of other strikes and Tyron Woodley drops to the mat. IT’S OVER.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Nate Marquardt wins via KO (1:39) in the fourth round and is the NEW Strikeforce welterweight champion!
– Pat Miletich says Tyron Woodley fought the wrong fight, choosing to stay on the outside and play the counter game.
– Nate joins Mauro. He thanks the usual suspects (teammates, coaches, friends, family, sponsors). Says Woodley is a tough fighter and it’s a dream come true to be a champion although he feels like a champ every day because of his family.
Middleweight Championship bout: Champion Luke Rockhold (9-1) vs. Challenger Tim Kennedy (14-3)
– Tim Kennedy’s first opportunity to gain the middleweight title came in August 2010 when he lost a decision to Jacare Souza. Since then, he’s beaten Melvin Manhoef and Robbie Lawler. Luke Rockhold became champion after defeating Souza by decision last September and he followed it up by knocking out Keith Jardine in January.
– Frank Shamrock quotes Rockhold as saying, “Tim Kennedy cannot take me down and he cannot keep me down.”
– Herschel Walker is cage side, supporting his American Kickboxing Academy teammate, Rockhold.
ROUND ONE: Big John McCarthy is the referee. They touch gloves. Kennedy misses a pair of lunging pushes. Rockhold throws a head kick but misses. They clinch against the cage. They exchange knees to the body and separate. Rockhold throws a combination and Kennedy avoids the strikes. In the clinch, Kennedy lands a short elbow. Rockhold using his length to keep Kennedy at bay on the fence. Back at the center of the cage, Kennedy throws a high kick. Rockhold throws a combination and hurts Kennedy. They’re back against the cage, and Kennedy picks him up and slams him down into half guard. Rockhold looking for a possible Kimura, going for Tim’s left arm. He pulls it out and goes for an armlock, but Kennedy gets out of it. He takes Rockhold’s back but they return to a standing position. They exchange strikes as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Luke Rockhold, 10-9 (Believed he did more damage, despite the slam and takedown)
ROUND TWO: Luke lands a head kick, Kennedy shoots in for a takedown but the champion takes his back. Rockhold has one hook in and is going for his neck. Kennedy stands up, keeping his palms on the mat. Back down, Kennedy lands a back elbow. Kennedy twists around and gets back to his feet. Kennedy misses a left cross. Rockhold lands a front kick. Kennedy throws a high kick. Rockhold lands a right hand. The champion has the center of the cage, causing Kennedy to circle the mat. Kennedy lands a big right hand, but Rockhold keeps walking forward. Kennedy shoots for a single leg, they scramble and the champion is still defending the takedown attempt. Kennedy has the undercooks but Rockhold frees himself. Tim misses a left hook as the champ lands a left hand. A spinning back kick from Rockhold doesn’t land. Rockhold throws a combination but Kennedy lands a counter punch. 30 seconds left. Rockhold catches a kick and lands a punch.
SCORECARD: Rockhold, 10-9 (20-18)
ROUND THREE: Rockhold comes in for a punch, Kennedy grabs hold of him and they clinch against the cage. Kennedy has a body lock, landing knees to the body, too. The referee stops the action because of an inadvertent knee to the groin shot and warns Rockhold for grabbing the cage. Time is resumed. A side kick to the body by Kennedy lands. Rockhold hits a right hook. Kennedy shoots for a takedown but Rockhold defends well against the cage and reverses position. Kennedy’s back is against the cage and eats a few punches before they separate. Kennedy lands a high kick. Rockhold hits a flush jab as Kennedy goes for another kick. Rockhold keeping the pressure on with kicks and with the help of his reach. Kennedy grabs a body lock and takes Rockhold down. He’s in the champion’s open half guard. Rockhold gets up but Kennedy takes his back and cannot close the body triangle. Rockhold is back on his feet, Kennedy still has hold of his back. They separate after a failed takedown. 20 seconds left. Kennedy takes his back as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Rockhold, 10-9 (30-27), Kennedy has not had much success striking and has done nothing with his takedowns
ROUND FOUR: Kennedy is still backing away, looking for counter shots. Rockhold, on the way in, eats a kick to the leg. Another leg kick from Kennedy. Rockhold lands a two-punch combination. Another combination ends with a body kick which sends Kennedy tripping into the fence. Kennedy lands an overhand punch. A body punch from Rockhold lands. Rockhold lands a big right cross on Kennedy which sends him to the ground. Rockhold mounts him. Kennedy escapes and is sitting up, he may have Rockhold’s neck. He has the guillotine, but not for too long as the champion escapes and they’re standing. 40 seconds left. They’re clinched against the cage. Kennedy takes his back with 20 seconds left. Rockholds ends up in side control as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Rockhold, 10-9 (40-36)
– Kennedy definitely needs a knockout or submission to win.
ROUND FIVE: The final round! Kennedy lands a few leg kicks. Rockhold throws a high kick. Kennedy shoots but the champion sprawls and they’re clinched against the cage. Rockhold lands a straight left hand. Kennedy does not look like a guy who needs a finish to win with three minutes left. Kennedy shoots for a takedown but Rockhold doesn’t go. They scramble and Kennedy grabs his neck. Rockhold breaks it up and takes Kennedy down. Rockhold lands a knee to the body and they’re standing. Under two minutes to go. Spinning backfist by Kennedy hits nothing but air. 70 seconds left. Kennedy shoots, Rockhold defends. 40 seconds left. Not much action. Rockhold powers Kennedy to the cage and is rag dolling him. Kennedy shoots for a takedown as the fight ends.
SCORECARD: Rockhold, 10-9 (50-45)
– Tim Kennedy could not do anything because of Rockhold’s size advantage. When he did get takedowns, he couldn’t do any damage whatsoever. A disappointing performance from the challenger to say the least. The champion didn’t even do a ton of damage, but definitely controlled each round and did enough to win.
– Ronda Rousey “All Access” on Showtime begins August 8.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Luke Rockhold wins via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) and retains the Strikeforce middleweight championship!
– The champion joins Mauro after the two fighters share some words. Rockhold credits his team, AKA, with his success. Believes he controlled the pace although he wanted to let more combinations loose. He says improving his wrestling with Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier was a big part of his training for this fight.