By Jaime C. Feal
Many questioned whether Keith Jardine deserved a title shot in his first fight at Middleweight, and those concerns turned out to be warranted as Luke Rockhold tore through Jardine inside of one round. In the co-Main Event, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler got back on the winning track by knocking out Adlan Amagov. Also on the card, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal moved himself back into light heavyweight title contention, as he smashed Lorenz Larkin with nasty ground and pound.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (9-0, 7-0 SF) vs. Jordan “Young Gun” Mein (23-7, 1-0 SF)
Mein begins by quickly taking the center of the cage and pawing with the jab. Woodley lands a nice left body kick. Mein keeps feinting strikes while backing Woodley against the cage. Woodley eventually clinches him, and picks up one of Mein’s legs looking for a take down. Mein shows good balance and defends. Now Woodley working light knees to the inside of Mein’s legs. With three minutes remaining in the opening round the referee separates the fighter, as they are clinched on the cage. Mein steps in with an uppercut and again gets clinched by Woodley, who uses the clinch to take Mein down. “T-Wood” in half guard immediately looking for an arm-triangle choke but Mein slips out. Woodley begins to work strikes with his left hand. Mein attempts a sweep and almost gets it but Woodley maintains top position. Woodley stifling Mein and keeping him on his back and loads up on a big right elbow to the head. Woodley throws another elbow and Mein scrambles to his feet and eats a knee to the body. Woodley lands a knee from the Thai clinch, Mein misses a left hand to close the frame. 10-9 round for Woodley.
Woodley lands a big right hand that backs Mein up. Woodley follows Mein to the cage, gains double underhooks, and then scores the takedown. Woodley again working strikes from half guard. Big right elbow from “T-Wood,” and a left elbow a short time later. Mein, on his back, lands a couple elbows to the top of Woodley’s head. Woodley now back in guard, not doing much except holding Mein down. Woodley finally postures up at the end of the round and lands a few strikes. 10-9 round for Woodley.
Mein throws a knee and Woodley grabs it and takes him down. “T-Wood” in guard again, just landing light strikes, refusing to posture up and go for the finish. Referee not standing the fighters up or warning for inactivity; crowd growing restless. Woodley working right hands to the body, not attempting to pass guard. Woodley continuing to smother Mein, now has him pushed against the cage. Referee finally stands the fighters up. Woodley shoots for a single and Mein sprawls and defends. Woodley clinches Mein and lands some knees to end the fight. 10-9 round for Woodley.
The judges score the fight 28-29, 29-28, and 30-27 for the winner by split decision, Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (8-1, 3-1 SF) vs. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (12-0, 3-0 SF)
Lawal paws with a left hook then shoots for a single and throws Larkin down. Lawal in guard, working good ground and pound. Lawal looking to pass to half guard or side control. Larkin trying to push Lawal off but can’t do it. Now “King Mo” is in half guard, pressing Larkin against the cage and banging his head with the right hand. Larkin regains guard but Lawal picks up the intensity with his ground and pound attack, landing several hard shots. Lawal’s corner tells him to slow down and pick his shots and he obliges, working a more methodical pace. Most of his strikes are getting through, however, and Larkin looks helpless against the cage. Ref Kim Winslow stands the fighters up, right after Lawal passed to half guard. Very questionable stand up by the ref. Nice right hand by Larkin, but he misses two follow up lefts to end the frame. 10-9 round for Lawal.
King Mo starts with an overhand right that misses, but he grabs a single. Larkin landing some nice uppercuts while hopping around and defending the takedown, but eventually succumbs to Lawal’s wrestling. Larkin, now on his back, eats three good right hands from Lawal. Now “King Mo” is turning up the heat and you can hear the impact of his right hands landing on Larkin’s skull. Larkin is stuck against the cage and his head is trapped. Thumping right hand after right hand are landing to Larkin’s face. “King Mo” continues to batter Larkin with hard right hands, and the ref steps in to stop the fight.
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal wins by TKO at 1:32 of Round 2.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-8, 2-4 SF) vs. Adlan Amagov (9-1-1, 2-0 SF)
The middleweights touch gloves to start the fight. Lawler swarms in with punches and Amagov takes him down with a double. Lawler gets up but Amaov has him right back down. Amagov passes to half guard and working some punches. Now Amagov has a front choke position but abandons it and lands an illegal knee to the top of Lawler’s head. Ref Steve Mazzegatti temporarily stops the fight to allow time for Lawler to recover, and deducts a point from Amagov for the illegal strike. The fighters shake hands and resume, as Lawler bounces around and feints strikes. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler steps in and lands a flying knee that drops Amagov flat on his stomach. Amagov is hurt bad and Lawler pounces, takes his back, and lands four powerful shots to finish the fight.
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler wins by TKO at 1:48 of Round 1.
Strikeforce Middleweight Championship (185 lbs.):
Luke Rockhold (8-1, 7-0 SF) vs. Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine (17-9-2, 0-0-1 SF)
Jardine quickly takes the center of the cage and taps gloves with Rockhold. Jardine misses a right, then lands a couple leg kicks. Another nice right leg kick by Jardine. Left body kick by Rockhold. Flying body kick by Rockhold, and the fighters clinch on the cage. Jardine lands an elbow from the clinch, and the combatants trade knees to the body. On the break Rockhold lands a good elbow. Very nice spinning back kick by Rockhold that lands flush on Jardine’s body, and has him backpedaling. Jardine tries to step in with a combo but gets caught with a counter right. Rockhold lands a hard left, and Jardine looks wobbly as he stumbles slightly into the cage. Jardine lands a good left that causes Rockhold to clinch. The fighters separate and Rockhold is walking Jardine down. Left liver kick from Rockhold. A couple leg kicks from Jardine, Rockhold smiles and shakes his head no. Rockhold with a big overhand right that drops Jardine, but “The Dean of Mean” gets up quickly. Jardine lands a right hand. Jardine steps in with a one-two that misses and gets tagged by a counter right. Jardine is wobbled badly by the shot and Rockhold senses it. Rockhold pounces and lands another right that drops Jardine. Rockhold connects with three solid left hands then a right to Jardine’s dome, and referee Herb Dean is having a close look. Jardine gets up, only to get dropped again by a vicious right hand. Three more right hands on the ground by Rockhold, and Herb Dean finally steps in to stop the contest. Impressive performance by Rockhold, who firmly establishes himself as the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.
Luke Rockhold wins by TKO at 4:26 of Round 1.
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