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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Luke Rockhold Vs. Keith Jardine Preview

At First Glance

This Saturday night, Strikeforce is showcasing a middleweight championship between Luke Rockhold and Keith Jardine.  They each possess the necessary skills that it takes to succeed at the highest level.

Luke Rockhold is fighting to further his reputation as one of the best middleweights in the world. 

Keith Jardine is fighting to reclaim his relevancy in mixed martial arts again after hitting a dry spell in 205 division.  He looks to revitalize his career by jumping down to the 185 division for the first time when he faces the dynamic striker in Luke Rockhold.

How They Got Here

Both of their styles are different from you average mixed martial artist.  In Rockhold, you have a guy who is not afraid to stand toe to toe.  His dynamic leg kicks often leave opponents dazed and confused.  Couple this with his jiu jitsu game, and you got yourself a worthy middleweight champion. 

The skills he displayed to capture the middleweight belt were quite impressive.  He out struck Ronaldo Souza for the better part of 25 minutes.  Even more impressive was his take-down defense not once letting Souza get the better of him.  It was a dominant performance and Rockhold is looking to keep the ball rolling when he takes on UFC alumni Keith Jardine.

Continue reading about Jardine's career after the jump.

For Jardine, his career has been filled with ups in downs.  He started off on a meteoric rise in the UFC's light heavyweight division when he beat Forrest Griffin.  He would then loose to Houston Alexander in devastating fashion.  He then beat former light heavyweight champion Chuck Lidell in a dominant display of leg kicks. 

Unorthodox is the best word to describe Jardine's fighting style.  This unorthodox style was displayed when he beat Lidell in a three round war.  He would then later to Wanderlei Silva in another devastating knockout loss. He would then beat Brandon Vera, loose to Rampage Jackson, and then loose four straight leaving him to be cut by the UFC. 

Inconsistency has plagued him throughout his whole career as he leaves himself susceptible to taking big left hooks, which end up dropping him.

How will he fair in the middleweight division?  Will he be affected by the weight-cut? Only time will tell, but this is a good move on his part in order revitalize his mma career.

Keys To Victory

The outcome of this fight is going to be determined on who can dictate the pace.  Jardine has a chance to win if he can use his unorthodox boxing and wrestling to confuse Rockhold.  He needs to get this fight to the ground and grind Rockhold out; something that no one has done as of late. 

For Rockhold, he needs to use his dynamic striking to pick apart Jardine on the feet.  He may also want to take this fight to the ground as he possesses a distinct advantage in the grappling department.

A general consensus supports that Rockhold is better in every area than Jardine. He will use his striking to pick apart Jardine and possibly finish him in the second round.  Rockhold will then move on to the UFC and face better fighters, which might allow him to challenge for the UFC middleweight championship of the world.
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