Strikeforce Results: Rockhold Blasts Through Jardine, Calls Out UFC Middleweights

January 8, 2012
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Luke Rockhold vs Keith Jardine at StrikeforceJust after winning the Strikeforce middleweight title in September, Luke Rockhold wasn’t even sure he’d get a chance to defend the belt with the promotion’s future in question for almost the rest of 2011.

Zuffa and Showtime breathed new life into Strikeforce for 2012 and beyond and so Rockhold got the chance to put the title back around his waist and climb into the cage to prove his championship mettle.

Facing Rockhold was former UFC light heavyweight contender Keith Jardine, who got the opportunity to fight for the belt in his first fight at 185 pounds.

Prior to the fight, Rockhold expressed his desire to face a more worthy and established fighter at 185lbs, so to back up his words he executed a picture perfect performance on Saturday night.

Extremely confident, Rockhold threw a variety of strikes at Jardine, almost as if he didn’t fear any reprieve from the veteran fighter.

Rockhold caught Jardine with a quick and powerful spinning back kick to the midsection, and his aggressiveness only grew from there.

The champion never slowed down and after pushing forward with his left hand, Rockhold blasted Jardine with a huge right that floored the New Mexico based fighter.

Rockhold knew the fight was his and just unloaded with an onslaught of monstrous punches, and with each landed Jardine faded more and more. Finally, referee Herb Dean saw enough and came in to stop the fight.

The win is very special for Rockhold because it was his first title defense, and it came over a very tough and veteran fighter like Keith Jardine.

“It means a lot. Fighting a guy like Keith Jardine, he’s a proven opponent, he’s tough and he came to fight. Too bad for him I love fighting and when the cage door shuts I feel like it’s my world,” said Rockhold.

Prior to this fight coming together, Strikeforce was working on a fight between Rockhold and Army Ranger and middleweight contender Tim Kennedy, but an injury befell the military veteran and so Jardine got the fight instead.

It would appear that Kennedy is next in line once he’s healthy and Rockhold is ready to go, but the champion sounds like he’s looking for a different kind of challenge.

“I like fighting, I like getting paid, but I love competition and striving to be the best. Right now, all the best guys are in the UFC at least the top ten ranked besides myself maybe in some rankings, those are the guys I want,” Rockhold said.

“I want to climb to the top, I want to fight the best in the world, and I think they should bring over some top contenders. Let’s see who the true No. 1 contender is, cause I believe I am and I’d love the chance to prove it.”

It’s hard to tell if the bosses at Zuffa will actually bring any top middleweights over to Strikeforce to face Rockhold, but for now he may want to get comfortable with the idea of facing Kennedy because all signs are pointing to him being next.

No matter what happens tomorrow, Luke Rockhold can celebrate being the reigning and now defending Strikeforce middleweight champion tonight.

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  • Mario

    Jardine needs to retire.

    Rockhold however, looked great. He really needs to stop overlooking Tim Kennedy.

    Tim is no joke!

    That would be a hell of a fight actually.

  • jmat13

    I would only agree with Kieth retiring because of the way he fights. He has taken a ton of shots in the cage and I imagine tons more training. Because of his style and the amount of times he has been finished I would like to see him hang up the gloves. I love him for his exciting fights and style but his best days are behind him. Just like Chuck it seems he just can’t recover from a shot like he used to.

  • BlackDog2009

    Rockhold did the right thing, calling out UFC guys. These champions, Rockhold, Melendez, and the next Welterweight champ need to keep doing this, calling out competition, not only guys from UFC, but they need to be vocal, light a fire under DW’s butt and make him fill STrikeforce with more top guys and prospects.

    With that said, Kennedy is a good challenge for Rockhold, so Rockhold better not look past him. It’s a mistake. Never undermine anyone that is put in front of you, in MMA lights can go out very fast for ANYONE!

    • MikeMc1983

      Undermining guys might not be a bad idea. Do it enough and you could end up with a huge height advantage.

  • D-rail

    Once again, these fighters in Strikeforce need better competition. It’s gonna get old watching the same re-matches where we know a select few need to be in the UFC and the rest gone. That Showtime deal was a big mistake. UFC’s got bigger shoes to fill with FOX if it really wants to become mainstream. And to the fans, crappy cards like Keampman vs Thiago headliners isn’t cutting it. Strikeforce needs to dissolve ASAP so they can really step it up & can buy all their pay-per-views.

    • wait what? Alves v. Kampmann is a crappy headliner for a FREE card…GTFO…this is a solid fight alot of us have been waiting for…not to mention the beginning of the mini tournament for the Flyweight Belt…youre bugging dude…

      • bbtakayama

        Why do people complain so much about all of these free UFC cards? Everyone was whining about the free heavyweight championship fight because they didn’t show all of the other fights. MMA fans are the worst.

    • First of all, learn how to spell someone’s name correctly before you say they’re not worthy of headlining an event. It’s not Keampman, it’s Kampmann. And like thomasabrams said, true fans want this fight because they know it’s striker vs striker, and not only that, it’s elite striker vs elite striker. If you don’t want to see this fight, you should really think about ditching MMA and start watching poker. I don’t know where you’ve been the past five years, but the UFC is as mainstream as you can get. The Ultimate Fighter reality series and all the free programs on Spike helped that. Dude, you really need to get up to speed with the times.

  • bbtakayama

    All you had to do was watch the weigh-in to know Jardine had no chance. I heard people talking about early or bad stoppages on this card; stopping the Rockhold/Jardine fight before it happened would have been a good stoppage. Jardine doesn’t need to retire but he should stick to fighting guys like Aron Lofton and Francisco France. How fighting to a draw at light-heavyweight earns you a title shot at middleweight doesn’t make much sense. Go Strikeforce!!!

    • all u had to know was keith sardine was fighting to know he had no chance…nevermind the weight cut…

      • bbtakayama

        haha you called him sardine

  • DrkDisciple

    Jardine had 19 pounds to lose in 24hours. That just proved to be that he was beat even before entering the cage. IF the Keith Jardine doesnt take a titls shot seriously he might as well retire. As far as Rockhold is concerned this was a no win situation everyone expected him to beat Jardine. Besides Kennedy there is very little quality competition left (Robbie lawler is not even top 20)

  • D-rail

    mattmolloy, Keapmann was my phone messing up. Don’t tell me to get up to speed when u don’t know me. I’m from the Pride fc days, when Dana had hair and took his precious Chuck to get his ass handed in a platter by Rampage. I’ve been watching MMA since. Sure a lot has Changed,but Kampmann vs Thiago? elite strikers? Give me a break. One got crushed by Semtex, and the other elite lost to a wrestler (STORY)true MMA fans. I’m glad that fight gets u guys excited. Same Walter weights who won’t get pass GSP. U want striker vs striker, go watch boxing or K1. FYI, MMA obviously isn’t as mainstream as Dana wants it to be like SUPER BOWL right.

  • D-rail

    Welterweights. My phone again.