Rather than completing his trilogy with Jason “Mayhem” Miller under the Strikeforce banner on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, 12-3 middleweight Tim Kennedy will take on hot divisional prospect Luke Rockhold at the same event. A match-up between Miller and Kennedy had been previously rumored for the show and was even reported as having been agreed upon by both fighters. Whether or not the change was facilitated by welterweight champ Nick Diaz’s recent statements regarding a willingness to fight “Mayhem” at 185-pounds for the right price remains speculation.
News of Kennedy’s attempt to stymie the fast-rising Rockhold was announced earlier today in an official press release from Strikeforce where a fight between Billy Evangelista and Jorge Masvidal was also mentioned. The card will be headlined by twin title-fights featuring light heavyweight champ Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante taking on Dan Henderson and Marloes Coenen putting her 135-pound women’s belt on the line against Miesha Tate.
Rockhold holds an overall record of 7-1 and has won all six of his fights in Strikeforce with none of his opponents escaping the first frame. The American Kickboxing Academy product knocked Paul Bradley out midway through the opening round of his last outing in February 2010 and was expected for action against Matt Lindland in October before an injury forced him to withdraw from the event.
The March fight should finally scratch an itch for Kennedy who has been out of action since losing by way of decision to champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza this past August and actively campaigning to compete since then. Prior to the outpointing he had won four straight fights including a first round Rear-Naked Choke of Trevor Prangley a few months prior.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE