Strikeforce Live Blog: Robbie Lawler vs. Tim Kennedy Updates

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- This is the Strikeforce live blog for Robbie Lawler vs. Tim Kennedy, a middleweight bout on tonight's Strikeforce on Showtime card from the Sears Centre just outside of Chicago.

Lawler (18-7) challenged for the title in January but came up short when he was submitted by champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in the third round. Kennedy (13-3), who also holds a loss to Souza in a championship bout, tapped out Melvin Manhoef in March.

The live blog is below.

Kennedy enters first to Alice in Chains and Lawler follows with an Eminem song featuring Lil' Wayne.

Round 1: Both men are light on their feet as they engage in the feeling out process. Kennedy glances an inside leg kick. Kennedy teases a takedown attempt but Lawler doesn't budge. Kennedy throws a front kick that Lawler steps aside from. Kennedy shoots from far and Lawler stuffs it in dramatic fashion. Another attempt by Kennedy falls short. Lawler is active on his feet, looking for an opening. Kennedy shoots and Lawler tries to run away. Kennedy dives in again and this time holds Lawler down. It's pretty much a chase for a takedown. Lawler works back to his feet with a little over 90 seconds to go. Kennedy shoots and scores the takedown into Lawler's halfguard. Lawler climbs into full mount at 38 seconds. Kennedy sits up too high and Lawler bucks up for the escape. Lawler stuffs another takedown before the first round comes to an end. 10-9 Kennedy in a close round.

Round 2:
Kennedy lands a front kick to the thigh and then follows up with a kick. Kennedy shoots and misses. Kennedy reaches with a right hook that Lawler blocks. Lawler, cautious of the takedown, maintains a lower stance. Lawler glances a huge left as Kennedy shoots. Kennedy continues to work hard for the takedown and finally gets it, once again finishing in the halfguard of Lawler. Kennedy tries to advance only for Lawler to scoot out into closed guard. Kennedy drops punches that are mostly blocked. Lawler tries to fight off his back in an attempt to at the very least score some points. Kennedy lands a hammerfist to the stomach and then follows with a shot to the face. Round two ends with Kennedy holding Lawler down. 10-9 Kennedy.

Round 3:
The crowd erupts for both men as the bell sounds. Kennedy with a nice right hand attempt to set up a takedown. Still, Lawler avoids. Lawler goes on the hunt as Kennedy circles around the cage. Lawler stuffs another takedown. Kennedy throws a kick to Lawler's chest that's blocked. Lawler throws a jumping knee that Kennedy circles right to avoid. Lawler wants to make something happen but he's very weary of Kennedy's desire to put him on his back. With two minutes left, the crowd turns on the middleweights, booing the stalemate. Kennedy lands an inside leg kick and then a front kick to the belly that looks like it landed towards the waist. Kennedy fakes the clinch and lowers for the big takedown. Kennedy unloads with left hands and short elbows inside Lawler's halfguard. Kennedy presses Lawler on his back in the final seconds to hold onto his position. As Kennedy walks towards his corner, he tells the judges, "It's just blood!" to make sure they are aware the damage on his face is only cosmetic. Kennedy finished the round strongly to ensure him the 30-27.

Kennedy wins via unanimous decision (30x27 3x)

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