Healy-Hirota, Mein-Stinson, High-Moore Added to Strikeforce ‘Rockhold vs. Kennedy’ Card

By Mike Whitman May 30, 2012
Three new undercard contests have joined the fight bill for Strikeforce’s July 14 return to the Pacific Northwest.

Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Kennedy” now features veteran Pat Healy, who faces Deep lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota. Canadian welterweight talent Jordan Mein will lock horns with Bellator vet Tyler Stinson, while onetime UFC competitor Jason High takes on American Kickboxing Academy representative Nate Moore.

The event takes place at the Rose Garden arena in Portland, Ore., and will be headlined by a titular middleweight title confrontation between Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy. The evening’s co-main event features a welterweight championship showdown between Tyron Woodley and Nate Marquardt and airs on Showtime immediately following the preliminary card broadcast on Showtime Extreme.

Healy, 28, rides a four-fight winning streak into his booking with Hirota. After submitting to a Josh Thomson rear-naked choke in 2010, “Bam Bam” posted consecutive decision victories over Lyle Beerbohm and Eric Wisely before closing out 2011 with a submission win over Venezuelan talent Maximo Blanco. Most recently, the Oregonian was victorious in his meeting with AMC Pankration product Caros Fodor, submitting “The Future” with an arm-triangle choke on March 3.

Hirota is perhaps best known for his match with Dream titlist Shinya Aoki on New Year’s Eve 2009, the result of which was a broken arm for the former Sengoku champ courtesy of an Aoki hammerlock. The 31-year-old returned to competition in August of last year, capturing the Deep lightweight title from Katsunori Kikuno before defending the belt successfully on Feb. 18 against Seichi Ikemoto.

One of Canada’s most promising talents, Mein had a six-fight winning streak derailed by Woodley in his most recent outing on Jan.7, falling to the former NCAA Division I wrestling All-American via unanimous decision. “Young Gun” owns 20 of his 24 career wins by either knockout or submission and holds notable wins over Evangelista Santos, Marius Zaromskis and Josh Burkman, among others.

Like his foe, Stinson also had a winning streak snapped in his last outing, as “The Evolution” dropped a split decision to Team Quest rep Tarec Saffiedine in January. Prior to that loss, the 26-year-old had won four straight fights, including a 15-second knockout of Eduardo Pamplona in his Strikeforce debut this past July.

Known as “The Kansas City Bandit,” High has racked up six consecutive wins since his one-fight UFC stint ended in a unanimous decision defeat to Charlie Brenneman. The 30-year-old competed thrice in 2011, topping Quinn Mulhern in June before outpointing Todd Moore in his last in-cage appearance this past September at Challengers 19.

Moore has won eight of his 10 pro outings but has not competed since knocking out Nathan Coy in January 2011. Prior to that win, Moore had split his first two trips to the Strikeforce cage, finishing Louis Taylor in his 2009 debut before falling by knockout to Saffiedine the following year.
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