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Old 12-08-2011, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine adds Lawler-Amagov Lawal-Larkin Saffiedine-Stinsson

Strikeforce's rumored Jan. 7 event is now official.

The show, "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine," features a middleweight title fight between champion Luke Rockhold (8-1 MMA, 7-0 SF) and Keith Jardine (17-9-2 MMA, 0-0-1 SF).

Other bouts slated for the night's Showtime-televised main card include middleweights Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF) vs. Adlan Amagov (9-1-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), light heavyweights Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (8-1 MMA, 3-1 SF) vs. Lorenz Larkin (12-0 MMA, 3-0 SF), and welterweights Tarec Saffiedine (11-3 MMA, 3-1 SF) vs. Tyler Stinson (22-7 MMA, 1-0 SF).

The event takes place The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It's Strikeforce's first event of 2012. ( previously passed along word of the Rockhold vs. Jardine title fight, as well as Lawal's participation.

"What a way for Strikeforce to kick off the new year," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated. "We're happy to give fans in Vegas the chance to see the Strikeforce middleweight title defended by one of the hottest young champions in the sport in Luke Rockhold when he takes on, quite possibly, the toughest and most unorthodox fighter in all of MMA, Keith Jardine."

Rockhold, who was expected to meet Tim Kennedy before an injury to the title hopeful, fights for the first time since a close September victory over then-champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at "Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov." The decision victory marked the American Kickboxing Academy's seventh straight win, all of which have come in Strikeforce (six via submission and one via knockout). Now looking to spoil Rockhold's first title defense is Jardine, a longtime UFC light heavyweight who first joined the organization following a stint on "The Ultimate Fighter 2." Although once stuck in a five-fight losing streak that cost him his job, Jardine, who recently moved down to middleweight, since has rebounded with a 2-0-1 run over his past three fights that saw him earn a pair of victories in regional competition and an April draw with Gegard Mousasi in Strikeforce.

Lawler is stuck in the worst stretch of his career with four losses in six fights. The former EliteXC champ and UFC vet looks to rebound from back-to-back losses to Souza and Kennedy when he meets fast-rising Amagov, who ran his undefeated streak to 10 fights with recent Strikeforce Challengers victories over Ronald Stallings and Anthony Smith.

Lawal, a former Strikeforce titleholder, recently returned from a year-long layoff following a title loss to Rafael Cavalcante with a first-round KO of Roger Gracie in September. He takes on the surging Larkin, who's undefeated in 12 pro fights with eight knockouts. His Strikeforce wins have come over Scott Lighty, Gianpiero Villante and Nick Rossborough, all in 2011.

Saffiedine, meanwhile, looks for his fourth win in five Strikeforce fights. Most recently, he rebounded from a close decision loss to Tyron Woodley in a Strikeforce Challengers headliner with a July win over notable Scott Smith. He now meets Stinson, a former Bellator fighter who recently made his Strikeforce debut and knocked out Eduardo Pamplona for his fifth win in six fights.

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