Strikeforce Rockhold vs. Jardine: Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online Staff Picks



Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. JardineCompiled by Josh Nason

Strikeforce lives and the people get what they want Saturday night: Keith Jardine fighting for a a title because there wasn't anyone else healthy enough to earn it.

We reset the counter for our staff picks in 2012, so be sure to check out the Saturday update to see how everyone finished for last year. With 65+ events scheduled for this year, you'll be seeing a lot of picks in this space every single week.

Here's some of the men that contribute MMA content to Wrestling Observer and will be putting their minds to the test. (Note that site co-founder Bryan Alvarez occasionally makes picks when his busy schedule allows.)

- Dave Meltzer: Wrestling Observer founder & writer | Yahoo MMA

- Todd Martin: Weekly FFD guest | RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive: Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Oliver Copp & Mike Sawyer of Tough Talk: Show

- Josh Nason: FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | WGAM MMA Show | Bloody Elbow

Note that tonight's event is the first under the extended Zuffa/Showtime deal, so be on the lookout for production changes or other subtle differences from what we've seen before. Better yet, anyone with cable can watch the event as this is Showtime Free Preview weekend. (Be sure to check out Homeland while you're at it!)

Here we go!

Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold (8-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-9-2)


Jardine got the shot earmarked for an injured Tim Kennedy and has won just twice in his last eight fights. This will be Rockhold's first defense of the title he won last September.

Rockhold: Nason, Martin, Sempervive, Sawyer, Meltzer
Jardine: Copp

Robbie Lawler (18-8-0-1) vs. Adlan Amagov (9-1-1)

Lawler has won just two of his last six, while Amagov is undefeated in his last nine with six T/KO wins.

Lawler: Copp
Amagov: Nason, Martin, Sempervive, Sawyer, Meltzer

"King Mo" Lawal (8-1) vs. Lorenz Larkin (12-0)

Former FFD guest Lawal returned in September after a long injury layoff with first round KO win over Roger Gracie. The undefeated Larkin gets his first shot on a non-Challengers event. After 10 straight wins by T/KO, he's gone the distance in his last two.

Lawal: Nason, Martin, Sempervive, Sawyer, Copp, Meltzer

Tyron Woodley (9-0) vs. Jordan Mein (23-7)

One of the welterweight division's most unused prospects, Woodley last was seen in July beating Paul Daley by decision. Mein is a top Canadian prospect that started fighting amateurs at age 14! He made his promotional debut in September with a third round TKO win over Evangelista Santos and has a slew of wins over MMA veterans like Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman and Marius Zaramoskis,

Woodley: Martin, Sempervive, Sawyer, Copp, Meltzer
Mein: Nason

Tarec Saffiedine (11-3) vs. Tyler Stinson (22-7)

Saffiedine is 4-1 in Strikeforce, last defeating Scott Smith by decision in July. The Bellator veteran Stinson knocked out Eduardo Pamplona in his July Strikeforce debut and has won five of his last six.

Saffiedine: Martin, Sempervive, Sawyer, Copp, Meltzer
Stinson: Nason

Don't forget you can watch the prelims on Showtime Extreme with the main card kicking off at 10 PM EST on Showtime as part of their free preview weekend. Follow along with the play-by-play here by Dave Meltzer all night long!