Weekend in Fights! STRIKEFORCE: Rockhold vs. Jardine

This Weekend in Fights! (January 7th) is the second of six straight MMA cards in a row put on byZuffa, and this week’s card was the first STRIKEFORCE event of 2012. Of the five TV scheduled bouts, the fans were treated to exciting first round stoppage in the final 3 fights of the card.
In a night of questionable judging and poor referee stoppages, STRIKEFORCE emanated from “The Joint” at the the Hard Rock Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada and broadcast on Showtime & Showtime Extreme the world saw the somewhat changing of the guard on Saturday night with STRIKEFORCE Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold retaining his championship against UFC veteran Keith Jardine and Tyron Woodley demanding a title shot. However, as for up and coming fighters such as Lorenz Larkin and Adlan Amagov it was not the case and their undefeated streaks came to and end.
In the main event of the evening Luke Rockhold shut Keith Jardine’s mouth for saying that he was a lame fighter, with a dominating TKO victory over the once feared Light Heavyweight fighter. Jardine’s first drop to 185 was not as successful as most fighters transitions to a lower weight class is. Rockhold pushed the pace from the beginning with some flashy kicks and onslaught of strikes to Jardine’s weak chin that ultimately cost him the bout and his job in the UFC. Rockhold dropped Jardine down against the cage and continued to punch the finished fighter only for the simple reason that referee Herb Dean didn’t stop the fight before those punches would land. As one of the new faces of STRIKEFORCE, Rockhold then expressed his displeasure with the competition in the promotion and much like STRIKEFORCE Lightweight champion demanded UFC fighters to join the promotion to challenge him.
After being pushed around in the first minute, Robbie Lawler bounced back from receiving an illegal knee with a flying knee followed by some ground and pound to stop the bout. The bout  snapped to streaks including Lawler’s two fight losing skid, and Adlan Amagov’s nine fight win streak.
Reminiscent of Gegard Mousasi versus Ovince St-Preux, prospect Lorenz Larkin was also unable to step up and present himself as the “next big thing” in MMA and a force to be reckoned with at 205 in STRIKEFORCE. Coming into the bout 9-0, Larkin was able to defend Lawal’s strong wrestling skill, and was pounded out in just 92 seconds to taste defeat for the first time. Unlike Tyron Woodley’s bout, King Mo was extremely active on the ground with relentless ground and pound. This was another bout that could have seen the end prior to its stoppage, even to the point that Lawal expressed just how upset he was with referee Kim Winslow at the post fight press conference about having to continue to punch Larkin; stressing that she shouldn’t be a referee.
In possibly the most boring fight on the planet, Tyron Woodley picked up a split decision win over Canadian fighter Jordan Mein. Mein attempted to stand and trade with Woodley, but Woodley refused to strike with Mein, took him down and sat on him for the full three rounds. Split decision? Hardly! This bout was all Woodley with the take downs as he controlled the fight. Any judge that saw it otherwise doesn’t know what they’re doing. Post fight Woodley demanded his next bout be for the vacant STRIKEFORCE Welterweight title. It’s hard to argue that with a perfect record of 10-0 and the lack of competition in the division, but with that kind of performance, no fighter should receive a title shot.
Tyler Stinson came out with a bang in the opening round of his bout with Tarec Saffiedine, cutting Saffiedine and connecting with lots a big strikes. It appeared that this may be an exciting fight, however Saffiedine controlled the final two frames with a impressive wrestling arsenal to pick up a split decision. This was another baffling judgement call, as yes, Stinson won the first round 10-9, but Saffiedine definitely won round two and three 10-9 making the fight a 29-28 unanimous decision. Obviously the judges saw something that no one else saw.  (Full STRIKEFORCE: Rockhold vs. Jardine event results below.)
STRIKEFORCE: Rockhold vs. Jardine results:
Showtime bouts:
Champ Luke Rockhold def. Keith Jardine via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:26 – to retain middleweight title
Robbie Lawler def. Adlan Amagov via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 1, 1:48
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal def. Lorenz Larkin via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:32
Tyron Woodley def. Jordan Mein via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Tarec Saffiedine def. Tyler Stinson via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Showtime Extreme prelims:
Nah-Shon Burrell def. James Terry via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Gian Villante def. Trevor Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:05
Ricky Legere def. Chris Spang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Estevan Payan def. Alonzo Martinez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)