Speculation was put to rest today after Strikeforce sent out a press release revealing the scheduled lineup for a January 7 show in Las Vegas, showing that the promotion not only will indeed survive into 2012 but has plans to keep their stars active. The event had been rumored since the Nevada State Athletic Commission publicized the promotion’s request for the space though CEO Scott Coker denied anything was official earlier this week during a conference call with media.
The lineup will be headlined by middleweight champion Luke Rockhold defending his belt against debuting 185er Keith Jardine. Rockhold impressed all in his last bout by defeating submission-specialist Ronaldo Souza to earn the title, while Jardine is a seasoned veteran with a number of major wins at light heavyweight including those over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin.
“Jardine is a big name who’s fought a lot of tough guys in this sport,” said Rockhold of the match-up. “I’m not going to sleep on him or this opportunity. This isn’t just another fight for me, I’ve wanted my chance to prove I’m a champion and a five-round title defense is the way to do it. We’re going to prove to fans in Las Vegas what we’ve got over here in this division. You can expect this fight to be nothing short of spectacular.
The card also features talented Belgain Tarec Saffiedine battling 25-year old finisher Tyler Stinson, 9-1 Adlan Amagov trying to fend off the sleep-inducing stand-up of popular middleweight Robbie Lawler, and “King” Mo Lawal in action against undefeated striker Lorenz Larkin.
MMATraining Take: Not a bad card though they’re throwing a few guys to the wolves as I can’t see Amagov or Larkin being able to deal with the all-around superiority of their opponents. I also have an intense dislike for Jardine getting a title-shot in his 185-pound debut despite coming off a Draw he should have lost to begin.