Luke Rockhold finally met Tim Kennedy in the cage in his second title defense as Strikeforce middleweight champion.
Rockhold earned the big win in what was a five-round war between the two fighters. Kennedy repeatedly tried to take down Rockhold, but Rockhold was either able to scramble back to his feet quickly or stuff the takedown altogether.
In the end, Kennedy couldn't get the win and dropped the decision.
What we'll remember about this fight:
I think overall this was a good fight; it would be tough to pick out a spot in the fight. Rockhold looked good in what was his first true test as champion. If anything, Rockhold dropping Kennedy in the fourth as that was a close end to the fight.
What we learned about Luke Rockhold:
Rockhold's wrestling definitely improved in this fight and he was able to scramble away anytime Kennedy got him down. Rockhold can definitely do these five-round wars as this was only the second time Rockhold had gone past the first round.
What we learned about Tim Kennedy:
Kennedy was good in this fight, but I think he needs to be more aggressive and dictate the fight. Rockhold was able to out-punch him tonight and was able to scramble away when Kennedy got him down.
What's next for Rockhold?
I think Rockhold should either get brought over to the UFC or the UFC brings him a title challenger. A second fight with Ronaldo Souza doesn't do Rockhold any favors, and I think Lorenz Larkin and Roger Gracie need a little more time to develop into title challengers.
What's next for Kennedy?
Kennedy seemed UFC-bound already before this fight was announced, but if he is not brought over now, maybe challenging Larkin or Gracie would do well.