Tomorrow night Strikeforce surfaces in Portland, Oregon with two titles up for grabs at Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs Kennedy and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Luke Rockhold vs Tim Kennedy
Kennedy is about as good a match-up as Strikeforce could offer up for middleweight champion Rockhold and this should be a close, competitive fight. Having said that, while I think he can hold his own, I don’t see an area of the fight where Kennedy holds a clear advantage. I think Rockhold will find good success on the feet where his mobility and slick combinations should leave Kennedy a little flat-footed and coming off second best in the exchanges. Some mat time could also take place, but I don’t see either man gaining a major advantage there and so this one will head to the scorecards for a Rockhold win.
Luke Rockhold to win by decision.
Nate Marquardt vs Tyron Woodley
So far Woodley’s gone unbeaten in 10 career fights, competing mainly for Strikeforce, but this is definitely the biggest test of his career. Woodley tends to dominate his opponents on the mat, but while that could be possible against Marquardt who isn’t the best off his back, I think it’s unlikely he’ll be able to consistently take him down. In all other aspects of the fight I believe Marquardt is the better fighter. He’s a more technical, powerful striker, he’s dangerous when he’s on top on the mat, and he’s got a clear advantage in terms of jiu-jitsu. Marquardt’s first attempt to get down to 170lbs and year away from fighting are concerns, but overall I think he’ll show his superiority here and seize his chance to step back into the limelight by earning a victory inside the distance.
Nate Marquardt to win by TKO in Rd4.
Roger Gracie vs Keith Jardine
I’m definitely curious to see how Gracie copes in his first bout at 185lbs. I see a lot of upsides to his game. He’s obviously second to none on that mat, but while his striking is still a work in progress and a little stiff he does use his reach well by utilizing a nice stiff jab to good effect. That’ll be a useful tool against Jardine’s awkward brawl-orientated stand-up. He doesn’t have a great deal of power though which will be a relief for Jardine who’s chin is pretty much shot these days. Therefore Jardine’s got a good chance if he can keep it standing and use his more varied striking arsenal to pose Gracie problems. Jardine’s also difficult to take down and has never been submitted so while I’m loathe to do it, I’m actually picking the grizzled veteran here as stylistically this seems a good match-up for him.
Keith Jardine to win by decision.
Lorenz Larkin vs Robbie Lawler
Larkin retreats to 185lbs and finds himself in what’s likely to be a stand-up battle with Lawler. Larkin is a talented striker, but while Lawler is not as versatile in his output he does wield absolutely devastating power in his right hand. Lawler is also very durable and while he might comes off second-best at first, it’ll give him the time needed to find a home for that one big punch that will put Larkin to sleep.
Robbie Lawler to win by KO in Rd2.
Jorge Masvidal vs Justin Wilcox
Jordan Mein vs Tyler Stinson
Ryan Couture vs Joe Duarte
Pat Healy vs Mizuto Hirota