Strikeforce Rockhold vs. Kennedy Results: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Luke Rockhold - Esther Lin/Showtime
A jam-packed month of MMA continued on Saturday night's Strikeforce card, which featured a middleweight title bout between Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy.
For such an underwhelming card, Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy delivered on all levels of excitement.
In the main event, Rockhold utilized his superior striking and vastly-improved takedown defense to rout Kennedy for a fairly lopsided unanimous decision. People have overlooked Rockhold for a long time, and his win over Kennedy only furthers his progression in the middleweight division.
The co-main event featured Nate Marquardt's return after over a year's layoff to challenge Strikeforce welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Unfortunately for "Momma Woodley," Tyron wasn't able to bring this one home. After landing several elbows in the clinch, Marquardt unloaded on the former NCAA Division I wrestler with uppercuts to earn the TKO stoppage at 1:39 of the fourth round.
In the opening bouts, Lorenz Larkin upset Robbie Lawler with a decision victory, and Roger Gracie rebounded from a September 2011 loss to rout UFC veteran Keith Jardine.
There was plenty of good to take away from this event.
When there's good, there has to be bad, and when there's bad, there has to be ugly. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly from Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.
The Good: Luke Rockhold’s Stock Continues to Grow
Luke Rockhold - Esther Lin/Forza LLC
As Anderson Silva continues to lay waste to the middleweight division, a fresh face like Rockhold is a welcome addition to the UFC title picture.
He has the size, chin, striking and grappling mechanics to present some interesting challenges for Silva.
Outside of a rematch with Vitor Belfort, there really aren't any marquee fights left for Silva in the UFC. A champion vs. champion bout with Rockhold could definitely draw some excitement.
Whether Rockhold gets a superfight or not, his continued growth only bolsters the middleweight division's waning talent pool.
The Bad: Nate Marquardt Wins Strikeforce Title…Now What?
Nate Marquardt - Esther Lin/Showtime
Marquardt impressed in his welterweight debut against Woodley.
He was finally able to fend off takedowns from a strong wrestler and sustain his cardio in the deeper rounds. The welterweight division looks like a great fit for Marquardt, and he has the skill set and experience to make some serious noise.
Unfortunately, he competes in Strikeforce.
With Woodley out of the way, what's next for Marquardt?
Hopefully, the UFC gives him another shot. With all due respect to Strikeforce welterweights, Marquardt is just on another level.
The Ugly: Keith Jardine Loses...Again
Keith Jardine - Esther Lin/Strikeforce
From Kennedy's junk hanging out to Mauro Ranallo's awkward one-liners, there was quite a bit of ugly to take away from Saturday night.
"The Dean of Mean" gets the nod this time around.
In his last 14 fights, Jardine is 4-9-1, with five of the losses ending in devastating knockouts.
It could be time for him to hang up the gloves.
On Saturday night, he was taken apart in every area of fighting by Gracie, a submission specialist. Jardine doesn't even look like the same fighter anymore, and he seems to get worse in every outing.
With that said, it isn't like he's losing to scrubs. Jardine has fought some incredibly high-level opposition over the past few years, but his overall health needs to be the primary focus.
Thankfully, he didn't get cracked in the dome and go into septic shock again.