Strikeforce Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Rockhold vs Kennedy Fight

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2012

Strikeforce Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Rockhold vs Kennedy Fight

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    Luke Rockhold had a statement to make tonight.

    A man who feels he does not quite get the credit he deserves as a top middleweight, Rockhold has been eager to get in the cage and show the world just how good he truly is.

    At Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, the champion Rockhold had his chance to do just that, but did he make the most of it?

    Start the slideshow to see the real winners and losers from Saturday night's Strikeforce action.

Winner/Loser: Luke Rockhold

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    Luke Rockhold had his chance to make a statement, and he failed, plain and simple. 

    Sure, he won the fight on the judges' scorecards, but it was a lackluster bout which saw neither man do anything of significance for a whopping 25 minutes. 

    Honestly, Rockhold is a forgettable fighter, and this victory is overshadowed by just how bad each man performed tonight.

    Mr. Rockhold, you won, but you still are not a top 10 fighter. 

    Keep talking. 

Loser: Tim Kennedy

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    I am not a person who really wants to bash Tim Kennedy. He seems like a great guy and has put his head on the line serving in the military for us, and for that, I really do not want to speak badly of the guy.

    I do not want to do this.

    But I will.

    Tim Kennedy was horrible tonight. 

    Absolutely, positively horrible. 

    I already said I thought Luke Rockhold looked awful...And he won the fight. 

    That fact alone should tell you just how bad Kennedy was.  What was his gameplan?  Don't get finished? 

    Kennedy shot for takedowns when they weren't there and threw haymakers; that is about it. 

    If Luke Rockhold's performance was a band, it would have been Godsmack.  The songs are OK, nothing fancy.  It works, but it is not spectacular.

    Tim Kennedy, on the other hand, was Nickelback tonight.


Winner: Nate Marquardt

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    Never would I have thought that I would care about Nate Marquardt in the year 2012, but he showed up big time tonight in his Strikeforce (and welterweight) debut.

    With his vicious fourth-round stoppage of Tyron Woodley, Marquardt is our big winner tonight. 

    The cut to 170 lbs. looks to be the right move for Marquardt. He looked big but not too bulky, and he was nimble but still powerful. 

    The combination Marquardt ended the fight on was nothing short of spectacular and, sensing his opponent was out, he calmly stepped away before the referee intervened, a sign of true sportsmanship. 

    After his performance in capturing the Strikeforce welterweight belt, I can definitively say I am very excited to see Nate Marquardt fight again. 

    Welcome back, sir. 

Winner/Loser: Tyron Woodley

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    Enter the anti-Luke Rockhold, Mr. Tyron Woodley. 

    Just as Rockhold won but was still a loser in my eyes, Woodley lost but is still a winner to me. 

    Marquardt looked phenomenal tonight, but Woodley had him badly hurt at one point and was dangerously close to finishing the fight. 

    After gassing himself a bit looking for the finish, Woodley started working his ground game in an attempt to control Marquardt, and earn himself some recovery time. 

    Unfortunately, the referee stood the fight up in a questionable decision, and the tired Woodley was never the same. 

    Woodley got knocked out out in brutal fashion tonight, but he looked pretty damn good until he got caught.  I, for one, am still eager to see him perform in the future. 

Winner: Lorenz Larkin

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    As it did for Nate Marquardt, Lorenz Larkin's decision to drop down a weight class appears to have paid off. 

    Larkin previously fought at light heavyweight, but he was a bit undersized and could not fully utilize his explosiveness against his larger foes. 

    At middleweight, he gets to be the bully, and he showcased that newfound power tonight against Robbie Lawler. 

    Lawler caught Larkin early and put him on wobbly legs, but Larkin recovered, and the fight was all his from that point on. 

    Picking his shots wisely and using a wide variety of strikes to his advantage, Larkin kept Lawler off balance and unable to find a rhythm. 

    After the win, Larkin dropped to his knees and begged Dana White to start giving fight bonuses to Strikeforce fighters, something I personally feel they deserve. 

    For the win and for the presence of mind to try to better the conditions for his fellow fighters, Larkin is a big winner tonight.

Loser: Keith Jardine

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    I genuinely hope we have seen the last of Keith Jardine inside a cage of any sort tonight. 

    I cannot lie, Jardine has always been a personal favorite of mine, one of those fighters that makes me nervous to watch because I am rooting for him inside, so one would think it pains me to call for his retirement. 

    Such would be the case if he had anything left to give, but his performance against Roger Gracie tonight proved that he does not—so a retirement party for "The Dean of Mean" is in order.

    Gracie dominated the fight on the ground and, to his credit, Jardine managed to not get submitted, but that is literally the only positive takeaway from this bout for Jardine (and how positive is it, really?). 

    Jardine could not mount any sort of offense, and he left the cage bloodied and beaten, as he has of late. 

    Please be done, Keith; you really have done enough. 

Winner: Jason High

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    Only one preliminary fight saw a definitive stoppage, and it was thanks to this man, Jason High.

    In his fight against Nate Moore, High wasted no time in slapping on a tight guillotine choke, ending the fight in the very first round. 

    With a spotty Strikeforce welterweight division, High may very well have earned himself a title shot against Nate Marquardt with the quick victory. 

    If he does, he will have gone from an unaired prelim to a title shot; not too bad, huh? 

Loser: Judges

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    Despite its meteoric rise to the mainstream sporting world, MMA really needs to do something about its judging problem. 

    Of course, fixing something like this is not easy, and until somebody comes along with the perfect solution, bad decisions and questionable scoring will continue to plague the sport. 

    One particularly poor call Saturday night occured in the matchup between Pat Healy and Mizuto Hirota, which Healy won via unanimous decision. 

    The bout was hard to judge, but the fact that all three judges had all three rounds for Healy seems a little off to me; it was razor close, and a case could be made for Hirota being the victor. 

    Comment below with your solution to the judging problem. I want to see your ideas, because something needs to change, and I am fresh out of solutions. 

Loser: Gilbert Melendez

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    Gilbert Melendez has to be disgusted. 

    All signs were indicating that Pat Healy would be the next challenger to his lightweight throne, but the 28-year-old Healy did very little to convince me he is ready for a title shot. 

    With the less-than-impressive performance, Healy proved once again that Strikeforce has little to offer its lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez. 

    Can we just get this guy into the UFC already?