Strikeforce will be presenting an evening packed with high intensity mixed martial arts bouts on July 14 in Portland. The main event of the evening will be a bout between the current middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy.
Rockhold, who holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, won his current title in September of 2011 against Ronaldo Souza and successfully defended the title in January against Keith Jardine via TKO. Rockhold was scheduled to fight Kennedy during this bought, but Kennedy was unable to fight due to injury.
Kennedy, on the other hand, not only has an impressive 14-3 MMA record, he also is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and a Green Beret. While his record is strong, injuries have kept Kennedy from the hexagon since last July when he beat Robbie Lawler in a unanimous decision.
The other title fight will be a match to determine who will fill the welterweight division, which is currently vacant. Nate Marquardt will challenge Tyron Woodley for the title. Marquardt previously fought in the middleweight division in UFC and holds a record of 31-12. His last fight was in March, 2011, when he trounced Dan Miller, winning the match by unanimous decision. Woodley has an undefeated record in Strikeforce and was the Rising Star of the Year in 2010. In addition to his Strikeforce success, Woodley had a successful wresting career at the University of Missouri. His last fight was against Jordan Mein, which he won in a split decision.
Other fights during the event will include a match-up between Roger Gracie and Keith Jardine. Gracie, grandson of Carlos Gracie and a second-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has won several fights at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, 8 matches at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship and has an 4-1 MMA record. This will be Jardine’s third Strikeforce event, having previously competing in UFC, Pancrase and KOTC. Jardine also competed as a professional boxer and is known for his unique fighting style.
Another notable bout will be between Lorenz Larkin and Robbie Lawler. Larkin has an undefeated record as a light heavyweight and this will be his first bout as a middleweight. Although technically undefeated, Larkin’s last bout against Muhammed Lawal was a loss that was later overturned after Lawal failed a drug test. Larkin also has a 5-0 record as an amateur boxer. Lawler holds a 19-8-1 MMA record. His last fight, which was in January, was against Adlan Amagov. Larkin won by the match by TKO.
Showtime will broadcast this event live at 7 p.m. eastern time. West Coast viewers can watch the event on tape delay. The event will be held at Portland’s Rose Garden Arena.
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