Two big middleweights met on the final Strikeforce card when former title challenger Tim Kennedy met Trevor Smith. They used to train together, which made this fight familiar to both men.
Although Kennedy was a heavy favorite, Smith gave him a fight. In a close affair, Kennedy prevailed via submission to earn his way into the UFC.
Here is what we learned from the fight between Kennedy and Smith.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
The fight was so-so, but the finish was magnificent. It came out of nowhere and looked extremely violent.
Joe Rogan loves the "power guillotine," and that there was a power guillotine. Kennedy's squeeze was comparable to that of an anaconda.
You could definitely tell these guys used to train with one another because not much looked to surprise either man.
What We Learned About Trevor Smith
Smith is actually a very tough fighter with a well-rounded skill set. It looked like he gassed in the third round, but he was giving Kennedy all he could handle in the first two rounds.
He is a big, lengthy middleweight who will likely give many 185ers trouble.
What We Learned About Tim Kennedy
You don't want to expose your neck around Kennedy. The guy has a nasty squeeze, as exemplified by his beautiful choke-out of Smith.
He is going to be an asset to the UFC middleweight division.
What's Next for Smith
It's likely that Smith will find himself without a UFC contract. However, he would be a great addition to either Bellator or World Series of Fighting.
If the UFC brass liked what they saw and decide to give him a chance, they could have him fight the American zombie that is Jared Hamman. The winner of that fight would stay on the UFC roster.
What's Next for Kennedy
Kennedy is a great marketing tool due to his military background and high-level skills. I think he will get a top middleweight in his first UFC bout.
That said, a showdown with returning Mark Munoz would be a great test for both men that would catapult one of them into the top 10.