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‘Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine’ Aftermath: Going through the Motions, as Usual

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

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)

- @SethFalvo

Cagepotato Comments

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TheWarsawExpress- January 9, 2012 at 8:05 am
@ Diaz Cartel - Jon Fitch would have gotten Yellow cards in all of his fights in the UFC except for 2.
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Diaz Cartel- January 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm
@Get Off Me

Or the Unified rule could adopt some from Pride.
Remember the yellow card? If a fighter is the aggressor on the ground/on top yet fails to stay active, pass guard, attempt a finish, or simply stalling, a foul is called and a yellow card is issued.
The yellow card means a 10% deduction on the fighter's purse, win or lose. It worked well in Japan, why not here in North America?
RSparrow- January 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm
I want to walk up behind Winslow.... grab her by her stupid ass pony tail, swing her in about 8 circles, and let her go so she slams directly into a brick wall. How much longer do we have to deal with this retard?
Get Off Me- January 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm
The comissions did not create the 5 round non title fight.
A local promotion here put on a fight between Bosse and Thompson with all sorts of rules that were authorized by a comission and thus officiated under said rules.
Most major sports today underwent rule changes in their infancy, exactly where the UFC is today.
The "don't leave the fight in the hands of the judges" mentality is holding the UFC back.
The UFC needs to submit a rule:
If one fighter does not pass another fighters full guard inside 60 seconds, both fighters must return to their feet and continue.
This would not spell the end of grappling in MMA, far from it, this would be the equivalent of the shot clock in the NBA for the sport of MMA.
The best grappling we see rarely involves one fighter inside another fighters full guard for a period of more than 60 seconds straight. The best ground and pound we see rarely(with respect to Jorgensen when he fought Stone) happens from inside an opponents full guard.
The refs are already standing fights up, based on what exactly?
Effective Striking, Grappling and Octagon Control?
Protecting the fighters?
Last night was just a prime example, another big flashing sign.
There is no way Mazagatti would have stood up King Mo, that Winslow would have let Woodley take a nap on Jordan Mein...that is a problem. January 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm January 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Jardine needs to retire
Diaz Cartel- January 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm
Tyrone Woodley is overrated. He is not an all around fighter that Ranallo/Miletich/Shamrock claims. He has very good wrestling but once he faces a legit striker with a very good takedown defense, he will crumble. If he doesn't switch up, he will be exposed very soon.
dranokills- January 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm
"while Larkin quickly went for the full frontal cock lock on King Mo, Mo was as quick to block it with his knee"
DaltonSwayze- January 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm
"While Woodley arguably should have won by unanimous decision"

Why does the MMA Media seem to think that a split decision is somehow different than a UD? If Falvo said that he didn't know what that third judge was smoking, then at least he would've seemed cognizant of the way MMA bouts are judged.

Sorry, this is a pet peave of mine
L-Nad- January 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm
In the Scribol box on the side of the page, Cris Cyborg looks like blonde Eddie Vedder.
Joedirt- January 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Believe me I won't stick up for he refs... just keep in mind they are not brought in by the promoters. The refs are provided by the commission. The talent pool isn't so shallow that they can't have close fights.. they just need names that are recognized. But all of their top names are taken.
Omelette Platter- January 8, 2012 at 11:50 am
@Get Off Me : couldn't agree more. it was so frustrating to watch that woodley/mein fight. if the ref feels there was enough work being done to stay on the ground, then the points should be going to the guy doing the work. one judge got it right. woodley may have landed more strikes on the ground, but they were mostly him with his head flat on mein's chest punching him in the body. mein looked like he wanted to win, like he wanted to finish. and being unable to avoid the takedown or get out from under a wet blanket, he did everything he could to injure his opponent. woodley had no answer but to lay there and seemed to be on the losing end of the ground striking exchanges. i was seriously hoping mein would win that decision
Get Off Me- January 8, 2012 at 11:47 am
SF and elite org....first time I've heard that on CP.
The talent pool in this sport is simply to shallow to avoid mismatches outside of the premiere organization that is the UFC.
Mismatches happen in the UFC as well, Matyushenko(40) vs. Gustavsson etc...
SF puts on entertaining fights, I don't think Lawler/Saffedine/Woodley were given softball matches last night at all. Rockhold+Lawal dominated their fights, but Jardine was coming off a competitive fight with former 205 champ Mousasi and Lawal was coming off surgery. The next title fights at 185&205 in the UFC will likely be more of a mismatch than Jardine vs Rockhold.
Are we claiming mismatches because fights are ending early or what?
The real issue is not mismatches, it's referees standing fights up or not standing fights up and how it seems to be their call to make. Referee's should be left to starting and stopping fights while enforcing the rules of the sport in between. Trust me, this will fuck up a Fox card one day and will become a priority.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- January 8, 2012 at 11:26 am
lorenz should be at welterweight
Joedirt- January 8, 2012 at 11:24 am
Get Off Me... I agree about the small local orgs having mismatches... but at a national television level, an elite organization in the industry is not doing the industry any favours in winning over mainstream with shows like that. It's clear the mismatches are to keep their remaining recognizable names in the win column.
Get Off Me- January 8, 2012 at 11:17 am
All last night underlined was how badly the rules of mma need to be addressed. Standing opponents up should not be to the referees discretion, it's a joke to watch King Mo get stood up while he's in Larkin's half guard raining shots down on him and then leave Woodley in Mein's full guard eating elbows for the majority of a round. If a fighter cannot pass full guard on the ground within a minute, stand the fight up, it's that simple.
As for the mismatches and all, who cares when the talent pool is what it is in SF, go check out your local mma orgs if you want to see what mismatches really are.
The only thing you should take away from last night is that a referees discretion should be limited to fouls and stopping fights, absolutely not deciding arbitrarily when a fight should be stood up.
Joedirt- January 8, 2012 at 11:16 am
I was never a fan of Lawal... but I will say I respect him a bit more after he complained about the ref's slow stoppage. It's nice to know not every fighter is trying to land extra punches before the ref stops it. He seemed upset because he saw no reason for his opponent to get hurt... (seeing as he wasn't fighting back and the fight was clearly over) Oh and as far as Rockhold's calling out the UFC.... I doubt that will work. They know he is there, if they want him they'll call.
SethF- January 8, 2012 at 11:07 am
What Joedirt said. It may not have been great before, but now that most of their top talent is in the UFC, the mismatches are getting uglier for those who are still left.
Joedirt- January 8, 2012 at 11:01 am
ccman, I've never disagreed... but it's getting worse because they are being robbed of their limited talent. Most of their decent fighters were cherry picked.
ccman- January 8, 2012 at 10:56 am
I don't know why this is being blamed on the Zuffa take over. I said the same tithing as the UFC haters applauded an all knockout card over a year ago. SF has always been about mismatches. Just last nights was more blatant than normal.
Joedirt- January 8, 2012 at 10:49 am
"Lawler responded with a devastating flying knee of his own"
The knee didn't even land... it just made his opponent sprawl and lay there waiting to get punched.
Terrible show. One sided fights just begging to injure outmatched opponents. Reminds me of when I was a kid (and watched WWF for a month) seeing Andre the Giant vs "insert random name guy who never wins".... no matter how many times they call it a battle... it just isn't.
jonathanbegood- January 8, 2012 at 10:47 am
Go to about 4:10.
Did Lawler's knee make contact?