In a disturbing instance of foreshadowing, Scott Coker waits way too long to intervene. Props: Five Ounces of Pain
We’ll be honest: It’s getting pretty hard to write Strikeforce aftermath articles anymore. With a Strikeforce event, you already know that the favorite is going to win. You already know that the champions have run out of legitimate challengers. Every aftermath piece we’ve written for a Strikeforce event since the UFC’s acquisition of the organization demonstrates this. Essentially, the organization is going through the motions, yet we have to find a way to write something original about it.
Heading into Rockhold vs. Jardine, it was pretty clear that the organization was giving Jardine a title shot out of convenience. He was healthy, available and had a name that fans recognized. Because Strikeforce isn’t planning on growing as an organization, those qualifications were enough to earn him a title shot against Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold, despite never having competed at middleweight before. The fight didn’t come off as a legitimate title fight- it came off as a litmus test for Rockhold.
Keith Jardine gave us the same performance that we’ve come to expect from him. His awkward movement and looping punches seemed to confuse Rockhold at first, but once Luke Rockhold managed to figure out Jardine’s style he controlled the fight. While looking like a guy who hadn’t weighed 185 pounds since the ninth grade didn’t help Keith Jardine’s cause, it’s hard to imagine that a less fatigued Dean of Mean would have done significantly better. Luke Rockhold is the younger, more diverse fighter. Jardine is the same fighter that had been figured out years ago, except now he’s in the twilight of his career. A prospect that’s ready for the big leagues can beat an opponent like Keith Jardine, and that’s exactly what Rockhold did.
Still, don’t expect Luke Rockhold’s next fight to be in the UFC. The UFC’s middleweight division already has challengers waiting for Anderson Silva- they don’t need to rush him out of the minors just yet. Besides, Strikeforce still has a legitimate challenger for Rockhold in the form of Tim Kennedy. If he can get past an opponent of Kennedy’s caliber, then expect him to earn a call up.
It was good to watch Robbie Lawler get back in the win column last night, as expected. After eating an illegal knee from Amagov, Lawler responded with a devastating flying knee of his own. While Lawler may not be getting a call up any time soon, he is always an exciting fighter to watch. On the other end of the spectrum, King Mo’s brutal knockout over Lorenz Larkin may have earned him a call up. Aside from a rematch with Rafael Cavalcante, there aren’t any compelling fights left for King Mo in Strikeforce. He’s demonstrated that he’s capable of surviving in the big leagues. Plus, his ongoing beef with Rampage Jackson makes for a compelling matchup.
Also of note, exactly one year after their first meeting, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine more than likely set themselves up for a rematch against each other. Both men outworked their opponents en route to a split decision victory. While Woodley arguably should have won by unanimous decision, Saffiedine fought a much closer bout with Tyler Stinson, being caught early but managing to take control in the second and third rounds. Time will tell if this rematch will be for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight title as well.
Full results, courtesy of MMAWeekly.com:
Main Bouts (on Showtime):
-Luke Rockhold def. Keith Jardine by TKO (strikes) at 4:26, R1
-Robbie Lawler def. Adlan Amagov by TKO (knee and strikes) at 1:48, R1
-Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Lorenz Larkin by TKO (strikes) at 1:32, R2
-Tyron Woodley def. Jordan Mein by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
-Tarec Saffiedine def. Tyler Stinson by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Preliminary Bouts (on Sho Extreme):
-Nah-Shon Burrell def. James Terry by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
-Gian Villante def. Trevor Smith by TKO (punches) at 1:05, R1
-Ricky Legere def. Chris Spang by unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
-Estevan Payan def. Alonzo Martinez by unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)