Rockhold checked in at 185 pounds for his five-round encounter with UFC veteran Keith Jardine (185) in the Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine” main event on Saturday, as he prepares to defend his middleweight crown for the first time at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The eight other fighters slated for duties on the main card, including former light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal (205) and unbeaten foe Lorenz Larkin (206), also met their contracted weight requirements without issue at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Anchored at the American Kickboxing Academy, Rockhold last appeared in September, when he dethroned Ronaldo Souza by unanimous decision to become Strikeforce champion at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The 27-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt has finished seven of his wins in the first round, six of them by submission. The once-beaten Rockhold has yet to lose in seven appearances under the Strikeforce banner.
Jardine will be competing at 185 pounds for the first time in his career. Once a staple of the UFC light heavyweight division, he owns victories over former champions Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. The 36-year-old Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative made his promotional debut for Strikeforce in April, when he fought Dream titleholder Gegard Mousasi to a controversial majority draw at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. In 28 professional outings, Jardine has never been submitted.
Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine” -- which airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime -- also features a middleweight matchup pairing former EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler (186) against Adlan Amagov (186) and a pair of welterweight duels, as the unbeaten Tyron Woodley (171) locks horns with surging Canadian prospect Jordan Mein (169) and Team Quest standout Tarec Saffiedine (170) squares off with Tyler Stinson (170).
The remaining four preliminary matchups will be carried on Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m. ET/PT: Nah-Shon Burrell (171) vs. James Terry (171), Gian Villante (206) vs. Trevor Smith (205), Estevan Payan (160) vs. Alonzo Martinez (160.5) and Christopher Spang (171) vs. Ricky Legere Jr. (171).
Lawler (186) vs. Adlan
Muhammed Lawal (205) vs. Lorenz Larkin (206)
Tyron Woodley (171) vs. Jordan Mein (169)
Tarec Saffiedine (170) vs. Tyler Stinson (170)
Nah-Shon Burrell (171) vs. James Terry (171)
Gian Villante (206) vs. Trevor Smith (205)
Estevan Payan (160) vs. Alonzo Martinez (160.5)
Christopher Spang (171) vs. Ricky Legere Jr. (171)
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