On July 14th from Portland, Oregon, Strikeforce will hold the Rockhold vs Kennedy event. This event features what could easily be their best card of the year as two world titles will be on the line.
In the main event, Luke Rockhold will defend his Middleweight title against former Army Special Forces member Tim Kennedy. Both men are coming off injury layoffs.
Luke broke his right hand in his first title defense and first round TKO victory over Keith Jardine. Jardine stood in for Kennedy when he had to withdraw because of injury. When Kennedy was asked today about that injury he said he was training and his big toe got stuck between two mats and when he went to throw a punch it almost ripped it off. He has since had surgery and adds that it is a good looking toe now.
Both of the fighters started out very respectful towards each other. Rockhold is excited to fight Kennedy because he has earned his shot at the title and has proven he is deserving. This is something that had kind of bothered him when it came to fighting Jardine in his first defense. Even though they don't have a problem with each other they both are able to focus on the fight because they are professionals and they both want the belt.
When I asked Kennedy about his desire to return to active duty he said that it is still their and tugs at him. He has friends all over the world right now such as Africa, Mexico and a close friend just lost a classmate from West Point in the past few days in Afghanistan. Even though it is becoming forgotten there are still Americans losing their life's.
The call took a turn though right before it ended when Rockhold stated he is not a fan of Greg Jackson's game plans and he hopes that Kennedy is coming to fight.
When he was asked to expand on that thought he felt that they are not the most exciting and that Jackson calls out his fighters name from the corner. He gave an example such as Greg saying, "Tim Kennedy good leg kick." Rockhold felt that is a form of cheating if the judges can hear it.
Kennedy and Marquardt both came to the defense of their coach. Kennedy felt it was an asinine theory since on the same card that everyone was turning on Guida for running another Jackson teammate Cub Swanson came home with the Knockout of the Night award against a great kick boxer.
Kennedy also stated that, "Jackson's gym has had more champions, KOs and Subs than any other camp out there."
Marquardt expanded on that by saying that Greg focuses on neutralizing the opponents strengths and capitalizing on their weaknesses. Marquardt said that he has been training for his upcoming title fight in Denver and not with Greg.
Nate Marquardt will face undefeated Tyron Woodley in a five round affair for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight title.
Marquardt has not fought since March of 2011 for the UFC and will be making his first cut to 170lbs. Marquardt, the former Middleweight title contender, is not worried about the layoff because since that time he has had three fight camps for fights that didn't happen and he has been a constant figure in the gym.
Marquardt isn't worried about the weight cut either because he feels he has never been a big middleweight and never fought above 200lbs. Nate feels rejuvenated and excited for this fight and said "I feel like a young kid all over again, this feels like my first fight."
His opponent Tyron Woodley feels that Marquardt is going to be his toughest opponent but he is ready for him. He has been calling out Daley and Diaz names but he was always the up and comer well now he has his shot and ready to prove his skills are real.
Tyron was asked about the critics saying he is a lay and pray type fighter but he disregards that because those are the same critics who were praising him and calling him a prodigy a couple of fights ago. When Woodley was asked about his undefeated status he admitted it is something he tries not to think about.
"My amateur coach told me to focus on the individual fight and not on losing," Woodley said. He went on to add that for this fight he is 10-0 and not worried about staying undefeated.