Strikeforce: Rockhold vs Jardine
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine
Date: Jan 07, 2012
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Venue: The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
Champ Luke Rockhold vs. Keith Jardine
Adlan Amagov vs. Robbie Lawler
Lorenz Larkin vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal
Jordan Mein vs. Tyron Woodley
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Tyler Stinson
PRELIMINARY CARD (Showtime Extreme)
Bobby Green vs. Alonzo Martinez
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. James Terry
Trevor Smith vs. Gian Villante
Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is slated to defend his belt against former UFC veteran Keith Jardine on Jan. 7, MMA Fighting has confirmed with sources close to the fight. The title fight is expected to headline the organization's first event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Strikeforce has yet to officially announce the card or any fights signed for it as of Thursday evening.
Rockhold was expected to meet Tim Kennedy in his first title defense, but according to sources, Kennedy couldn't commit to the fight due to an undisclosed injury.
Rockhold (8-1) won the title in September when he defeated Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza via unanimous decision. The American Kickboxing Academy member has won his last seven fights in a row.
Jardine (17-9-2) fought Gegard Mousasi to a draw in his Strikeforce debut in April. This fight would mark his first at 185 pounds. "The Dean of Mean" is 2-1-1 since his release from the UFC in June 2010.
There's been a bit of a change of plan in Strikeforce with Luke Rockhold now slated to face Keith Jardine on January 7, 2012 according to MMA Fighting. The original rumored plans were for Rockhold to face Tim Kennedy but Kennedy is unable to take the bout as he has an undisclosed injury.
This is a shame as Keith Jardine has gone 3-6-1 since 2008, has never fought at 185 pounds and his only win of note during that span was over Brandon Vera at UFC 89.
It's hard for me to not see this as a reason that Strikeforce has very limited value in its current form. Kennedy being unavailable leaves the promotion as seeing no better option than Keith Jardine? Maybe a rematch with Jacare is too much to ask on only 5 weeks notice.
I'd just as soon see them pay Paul Daley to take a middleweight fight (a weight where he is 3-0) or give a young guy from the Strikeforce Challengers stage a shot, Adlan Amagov springs to mind as someone who would have a "it was fun while it lasted" fight. And it's not as though Keith Jardine's name carries any weight in terms of being a draw.
I also can't help but wonder if Zuffa couldn't find a mid-tier current middleweight in the UFC to send over for a brief Strikeforce run. Maybe it's a bit too deep of water for a guy like Chris Weidman, but that'd be a hell of an interesting fight.
In the end, fantasy matchmaking does nothing. Jardine is getting the shot and we'll see if he can make the most of it.
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