Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine, which took place on Jan. 7 from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy

Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made his first title defense a success on Saturday by knocking out “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine in the first round.

Rockhold shocked many fans when he took the title from Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in September, but has shown that he is no fluke by putting on an impressive performance against a UFC veteran.

After his fight against Jardine, the undefeated Rockhold stated that he is open to the idea of the UFC bringing over a middleweight to challenge him, as he wants to face the best in the world.

But this may be jumping the gun a bit, as Rockhold has only competed in 10 professional fights, and there is also a No. 1 contender that is patiently waiting for a title shot.

That contender’s name is Tim Kennedy. Kennedy was expected to take on the champion on Saturday, but was forced out of the bout due to injury. Kennedy deserves to get the first crack at the belt before any UFC transitions are made.

If Rockhold is able to get past Kennedy, then more fans will believe in him and will be open to the idea of him fighting a top UFC middleweight.

Robbie Lawler vs. Derek Brunson

Arguably the biggest win of the night was awarded to Robbie Lawler, as he defeated Adlan Amagov in the first round by knockout.

“Ruthless” had lost in his two previous bouts, but came back strong against the Russian and put him away to get a much-needed victory.

With the win, Lawler has put himself back in the 185-pound title hunt.

The only logical opponent to give Lawler is Derek Brunson, who is undefeated with a record of 9-0, including three wins while in Strikeforce. The 28-year-old trains out of Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in North Carolina and is a solid wrestler with a lot of potential.

But against a veteran like Lawler, Brunson will be tested. This will be a big fight for both men and will give them a huge boost in the Strikeforce middleweight rankings with a win.

Muhammed Lawal vs. Rafael Cavalcante

“King Mo” showed in his fight with Lorenz Larkin that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the light heavyweight division.

Now with Dan Henderson moving over to the UFC, the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship is currently vacant and should be awarded to someone in the near future.

So why not put two men who have fought for the title once before back in the cage for the crown?

Rafael Cavalcante and Lawal fought for the title back in August 2010, with Cavalcante winning by third-round TKO. But in his first title defense, “Feijao” lost to Henderson, ending his short title run.

Now that both men have rebounded nicely, a fight between the two would set up perfectly for a five-round contest with the title on the line.

I see that fight being closly-contested, with both men putting on a good show for fans. It will easily headline a Showtime card and will draw many viewers to see the two square off once again.

Tyron Woodley vs. Tarec Saffiedine

Two men who were also successful on Saturday night were Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine.

Woodley took on rising star Jordan Mein and earned a split decision victory. While the win was by no means exciting for fans, as he lay in the guard of Mein the majority of the bout, a win is a win and that’s the way “T-Wood” fights.

Saffiedine was matched up with Tyler Stinson and put on a great, exciting fight with Saffiedine coming out on top by split decision.

With Nick Diaz vacating his title to transfer to the UFC as well, the Strikeforce welterweight belt is now up for grabs and the winner of Woodley-Saffiedine should be awarded the prize.

The two men have fought once before in January 2011, with Woodley earning a unanimous decision victory.

Saffiedine will come in with a boxing gameplan and look to keep Woodley on the feet, but the undefeated wrestler will try to grapple for a decision victory. This should be an interesting title fight if made official.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.

  • mulefloyd

    Jordan Mein vs. Tyler Stinson

  • Corey Adams

    Yeah, that’s another fight that is likely to happen. I just did a breakdown of the winners this time.