Roger Gracie vs. Keith Jardine Set for July Strikeforce Event

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Roger Gracie will officially make his middleweight debut against another former light-heavyweight who shifted to the lighter division when he takes on Keith Jardine during a July Strikeforce event that is still in the planning stages.

Two sources confirmed the fight pairing to MMA Fighting.

Though the event is not officially announced, it is tentatively penciled in for Portland, Oregon, the sources said.

A date has not yet been finalized either.

The matchup though, is locked in, with Gracie (4-1) preparing to dip his toe into the middleweight waters. He made the decision to drop weight after his last fight, in which he suffered the first loss of his pro MMA career, a first-round knockout at the hands of "King Mo" Muhammed Lawal.

Jardine doesn't have much more time at 185 under his belt than Gracie. He made his maiden voyage in the division in January, unsuccessfully challenging Strikeforce's middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

Jardine (17-10-2) lost in a first-round TKO in that fight.

Rockhold is likely to headline the July Strikeforce event. The AKA product recently told MMA Fighting that he had been informed he was likely to defend the belt against Tim Kennedy, a pairing that sources say still holds true.

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