Jardine was cutting down to 185 pounds for the first time with the assistance of Mike Dolce and he seemed ready and willing to go to war with the American Kickboxing Academy fighter.
The UFC veteran had shored up one of his deficiencies, his proneness to eating big left hooks, by keeping his right hand high while still maintaining his herky-jerky fighting style.
But what key mistake offset his improvements and cost him the fight? And where do both men go from here?
After roughing each other up in the clinch, Rockhold finally landed his first truly significant strike, a beautiful spinning back kick which connected solidly in Jardine's midsection and he proceeded to follow it up with another just 10 seconds later.
"The Dean of Mean" was occasionally finding a home for his looping hooks and straight punches, and he did a terrific job of keeping his right hand up to defend the left hook, but his lead left was kept dangerously low. This would come back to bite him badly as the first major punch that Rockhold landed was a simple lead left hook.
Despite the fact that he called out the entire UFC middleweight division, it's extremely unlikely the Strikeforce 185 pound champ going to be fighting anyone there for contractual reasons. There are honestly only two opponents that make sense at this point and time. The first is his originally scheduled foe, Tim Kennedy, who got hurt and forced Jardine to step in on short notice. The other is the former champion, Ronaldo Souza, who hasn't fought since losing the belt but gave Rockhold an extremely close fight in losing the title. If both of them fall through, however, they could throw Robbie Lawler into the mix, who bounced back with a big first round knockout last night as well.
Either way, it appears Rockhold is stuck in Strikeforce for the time being.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did this fight go exactly as you expected? Will Luke Rockhold still be Strikeforce middleweight champion by the end of 2012?
Strikeforce: Jardine vs Rockhold Weighin Video, Larkin, King Mo Lawal, Tyron Woodley, Lawler
|DisclaimerPosted by system (more videos) on 1/6/2012|
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