Keith Jardine's Strikeforce middleweight title shot is official. | Photo: Dave Mandel
As expected, Luke Rockhold will defend his Strikeforce middleweight title on Jan. 7 against Keith Jardine.
Promotion officials Thursday verified the headlining attraction, along with a trio of previously unannounced bouts. Emanating from the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the event will also see middleweight staple Robbie Lawler lock horns with rising talent Adlan Amagov.
Additionally, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal will square off with unorthodox striker Lorenz Larkin, while welterweight Tarec Saffiedine toes the line against Tyler Stinson. The event will air on premium cable network Showtime.
Rockhold, 27, has won seven consecutive bouts heading into his showdown with Jardine. The American Kickboxing Academy standout returned in September from an extended injury layoff to wrest the Strikeforce middleweight title from around the waist of reigning champion Ronaldo Souza. Standing 6-foot-3, the rangy 185-pound titlist has finished six of his eight career victims by submission.
Representing another of the sport's most respected camps in Jackson’s MMA, Jardine comes into his middleweight debut nine years the elder of the champion. The former UFC light heavyweight made his first Strikeforce appearance on April 9, fighting Dream 205-pound champion Gegard Mousasi to a draw. Known for his awkward but effect standup style, “The Dean of Mean” owns over half of his wins by knockout.