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.