There has been little to zero attention on tomorrow nights Strikeforce event from the Rose Garden in Portland, OR. Sure, it’s not the sexiest line up of fights but it should provide some exciting action and answer some intriguing questions both in and outside of the cage. Showtime is really to blame for the lack of promotion and it’s shame because these fights are just wasting their time putting their bodies through a grueling training camp for little pay and even smaller recognition.
Robbie Lawler (19-8) vs. Lorenz Larkin (12-0): Lawler has a difficult time with technical fighters. Larkin often deviates from his technical prowess and in that, Lawler, the veteran, will find his opening to catch Larkin on the jaw.
Prediction: Robbie Lawler via 3rd Round TKO
Roger Gracie (4-10) vs. Keith Jardine (17-10-2): A dedicated Roger Gracie is a dangerous Roger Gracie but his striking is non existent. Jardine will use his very unorthodox striking to eek out an ugly decision.
Prediction: Keith Jardine via decision
Welterweight Championship Tyron Woodley (10-0) vs. Nate Marquardt (31-10): In theory, Marquardt should win this fight because he has way too much experience. This will be his first fight since March and his TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) debacle that got him fired from the UFC last year at this time. This is also his first fight at welterweight. He is no longer taking TRT because he doesn’t want to deal with the testing process and the questions about the validity of any win under a therapeutic use exemption. Woodley wins all of his fights with wrestling and Marquardt has problems with elite wrestlers. But is Woodley elite? That is the question going into the bout. Woodley has been itching at a chance to fight for the Strikeforce title and had to wait his turn since Nick Diaz left the promotion.
There comes a time in every fighter’s career where they take that important step up in competition. This is Woodley’s time as he fights a three time King of Pancrase and a UFC Middleweight title challenger. Will we see the very best Nate Marquardt or was he only productive because of the TRT? Will the first time weight cut be a factor or is this the weight class he should have been fighting in all along? In the end, Woodley hasn’t shown anything outside his wet blanket approach to fighting and his striking is sub par at best.
Prediction: Nate Marquardt via decision
Middleweight Championship Luke Rockhold (9-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (14-3): Kennedy is constantly improving but Rockhold is well rounder fighter with superior striking that will give anyone problems. Rockhold will quickly find his range but Kennedy will push the pace but he will have to find his range inside. Consistent takedowns are the name of the game for Kennedy but I haven’t seen anything in his game to suggest he can do this for five rounds. Rockhold is on a roll right now and I believe he will pick apart the army ranger, with strikes, for the majority of the 25 minute affair.
Prediction: Luke Rockhold by decision