Esther Lin, Showtime
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy took place July 14, 2012, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold put his title on the line against Tim Kennedy in the main event, while Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley squared off for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title in the co-main event. Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Rockhold's title defense, check out the play-by-play from MMA Fighting's own Shaun Al-Shatti.
Round 1: Big John is our referee. Rockhold and Kennedy touch gloves, and we're off. Rockhold tosses out a high check. Kennedy checks it and ties up along the fence. Kennedy lunges forward with a looping hook but Rockhold slips it and misses with his own combination. Rockhold plows in an uppercut to the body then disengages to the center of the cage. Rockhold stumbles Kennedy with a right hand, but the former solider reverses and slams Rockhold to the mat. The Strikeforce champ fishing for an arm from the bottom. Kennedy gives it up, but only to advance his position. Rockhold sees an opening, stands, and ties back up. Right hook from Rockhold on the way out and the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rockhold.
Round 2: A huge head kick dazes Kennedy, who immediately tries to change levels but ends up with Rockhold on his back. Rockhold pummeling Kennedy's midsection with elbows. Kennedy scrambles to his feet and throws up his hands as if to say, "Come at me." Rockhold nails a straight right to the body. The champion slips a jab and counters with a front kick, before unloading a flurry. Kennedy scrambles and winds up pressing Rockhold along the fence. Both men disengage and Kennedy eats a counter left hook. Spinning back kick misses for Rockhold. Kennedy finds his mark with a big counter right hand but Rockhold presses forward. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rockhold.
Round 3: Kennedy ducks under a straight punch and ties up. Rockhold fighting off the takedown, grabs the fence and gets a warning from Big John. Kennedy also gets a warning for low blows. A nasty right hook stumbles Kennedy, who slips another punch and tries, unsuccessfully, to secure a takedown. Rockhold checks a head kick and stalks forward before unloading his own head kick. Both fighters tossing out punches but virtually no combinations. Kennedy ties up and drags Rockhold to the ground, securing his back. Rockhold claws back to his feet but Kennedy still has position. Rockhold fights off the takedown attempt. Another flurry ends the round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Kennedy.
Round 4: Rockhold unloads a one-two but eats a pair of uppercuts for his troubles. The champ sprawls to avoid a takedown and stalks forward. Kennedy opening up with kicks to keep his distance. The crowd erupts in cheers of "Luke! Luke!" Rockhold connects with a body shot. Kennedy hits the floor after getting blasted by a right hook. Rockhold leaps in and almost instantly finds himself in a guillotine. It's close. Somehow Rockhold fights it off and scrambles back to his feet. Kennedy traps the champ along the fence, but gets reversed with 30 seconds left. Rockhold whirls around and finds Kennedy on his back, then drags the fight to the mat as the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rockhold.
Round 5: Kennedy trading single shots with Rockhold to open the final round. Kennedy ducks under a hook and lunges in for a double leg, but the champ sprawls and defends it perfectly. Rockhold starting to connect with right hands. Kennedy dives for a single leg but again he can't get it. Rockhold does him one better and dumps Kennedy down against the fence. Two minutes left and Kennedy probably needs to do something drastic. Rockhold tosses out a pair of kicks but neither lands cleanly. Kennedy presses forward and ties up. Rockhold finds his way out and takes the center of the cage. The crowd hits their feet as the final seconds tick off the clock. Rockhold ties back up and he's all over Kennedy. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Rockhold.
Luke Rockhold def. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
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