Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Roger Gracie bloodied and outgrappled UFC veteran Keith Jardine to a unanimous decision victory at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on Saturday night in Portland, Ore.
Gracie tripped Jardine to the canvas early in round one and ended up in half guard. Jardine managed to get an underhook in and scrambled to his feet only to be taken down again along the fence. From there, the Brazilian managed to trap Jardine’s arm and land heavy shots. At the end of the round, Gracie passed the half guard into full mount and landed slicing elbows that cut Jardine on the side of the face.
In round two, Gracie put Jardine on his back again, but this time the submission ace took Jardine’s back. Blood was pouring from Jardine as Gracie tried to sink in the rear naked choke, but Jardine was too slippery. In the dying seconds, Gracie went for an arm triangle, but Jardine managed to escape.
Round three was much better for Jardine. He stuffed much of Gracie’s takedowns and started finding his rhythm with his hands. At one point in the round, Jardine landed a nice uppercut, but didn’t follow up at all. The round closed with Jardine swinging wide. Gracie saw it coming from a mile away and easily got out of the way.
The three judges cage side scored the bout (29-27, 30-27, 30-26) in favor of Roger Gracie.
Following the win over Jardine, Gracie was successful in his Strikeforce middleweight debut with an overall record of 3-1 in the organization.
“I was able to do my game plan, but it was at one point it got too slippery,” Gracie said post-fight. “His blood soaked me all over. I couldn’t stay stable on top of him right after that. I think it was the striking that kept me stable on top of him. The third round I got quite tired, but I was able to use my long reach to keep him away.”
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