Strikeforce Results: 10 Memorable Moments from Rockhold vs. Kennedy Fight Card
Saturday night, Strikeforce featured a fight card with two title shots, and still, many didn't know about it.
Nonetheless, it was a great card with many highly contested close fights, including the crowning of a new welterweight champion.
Let's take a look back at the most memorable moments of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.
Pat Healy Earns Another Strikeforce Victory
It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but Pat Healy earned himself another big win, this time against Japanese fighter Mizuto Hirota.
Hirota landed some big strikes throughout the fight, but a couple nice takedowns from Healy were enough in the judges' eyes, as he picked up a big win by split decision in the Strikeforce lightweight division.
After the bout, he claimed he's beaten everyone Strikeforce has thrown at him and he believes it's his time to face Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Talented Up-and-Comers Masvidal and Mein Return to Win Column
Two guys who at one point in time were both knocking on the door of Strikeforce championships picked up much needed wins tonight.
Jorge Masvidal, who made his first appearance in Strikeforce since losing to lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, won a close split decision against Justin Wilcox and landed a highlight-reel flying knee strike that would've ended most fights.
Young welterweight Jordan Mein also earned a hard-fought victory, as he edged out Tyler Stinson by unanimous decision.
Lorenz Larkin's Impressive Debut at Middleweight
Following his knockout loss-turned-no contest against King Mo, Lorenz Larkin dropped to middleweight and won an impressive unanimous decision over powerful striker Robbie Lawler.
Larkin used a lethal combination of punches, kicks and nasty elbows to cut and hurt Lawler, and would constantly push the action.
Roger Gracie's Middleweight Debut
Roger Gracie's drop down to 185 lbs was a successful one, as he knocked off UFC veteran Keith Jardine by unanimous decision.
Gracie landed some nasty elbows that cut Keith Jardine on the ground, but Jardine's blood might have caused Gracie to not be able to lock in some of his submission attempts.
Keith Jardine's Submission Defense
Although he didn't record a victory tonight, "The Dean of Mean" showed us why he is one of the toughest dudes in MMA.
Bloodied up and beaten on the ground with a jiu-jitsu expert, Jardine showed off his stellar submission defense as he defended his back nicely against seasoned jiu-jitsu phenom Roger Gracie.
Daniel Cormier's Next Fight Announced
Following the Roger Gracie-Keith Jardine fight, it was announced that Daniel Cormier will return to Strikeforce and fight at the end of September on Showtime.
His opponent has yet to be named.
Marquardt vs. Woodley First Round
Who would've thought a matchup between two wrestlers would end up being that exciting?
Both men took turns landing huge strikes and both men also took turns being rocked.
For one of the two men, the impressive round was just the beginning.
Nate Marquardt Wins the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
And he did so in incredible fashion.
One of the best performances of Marquardt's career came off a month and a half-long layoff. He fought his style against the strong wrestler Tyron Woodley, and picked up an impressive fourth-round knockout.
Marquardt delivered two vicious elbows, followed by two strong uppercuts as Woodley fell to the ground.
So, what's next for Marquardt?
Seeing that I really can't name another Strikeforce welterweight besides Tyron Woodley right now, let's hope a possible merge between the UFC and Strikeforce isn't too far off.
Luke Rockhold Retains Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
In a five-round battle, Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was put in a few rough situations, giving up his back at times. In the end, his constant pressure and accurate striking earned him a unanimous decision victory over Tim Kennedy.
It wasn't the best fight for either man, but for Rockhold, it shows not only that he can fight well against great strikers (Jardine) and great BJJ fighters (Souza), but that he's not slowed by relentless wrestlers either, as he shrugged off the majority of Kennedy's takedowns.
It's not clear who's next for Rockhold, but either of tonight's earlier winners, Gracie or Larkin, could be matched up with the AKA middleweight later this year.
Strikeforce Is Dying
I had a great time watching Strikeforce tonight, but I don't understand what Zuffa is doing with this product.
One of the most memorable moments for me tonight was during the third round of the Marquardt-Woodley fight. I wondered to myself, "Why aren't these guys just fighting in the UFC?"
Seriously, with all the trouble the UFC was having with the UFC 149 card because of injuries, Dana and Zuffa should have just pulled the plug and featured Rockhold-Kennedy and Marquardt and Woodley on the main card.
There's still a lot of talent left in Strikeforce, a lot that was on display Saturday, but there aren't enough guys to make intriguing bouts for each show.
It was announced tonight that following the August Strikeforce card featuring Ronda Rousey, the September card will feature Daniel Cormier.
That fight alone could symbolize where Strikeforce goes from here. If the UFC will bring in one of their premier guys, Strikeforce could survive.
If Cormier is forced to face another irrelevant opponent, the card in September could be the final one for Strikeforce.