July 14, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Luke Rockhold (blue shorts) fights Tim Kennedy (white shorts) for the middleweight title at MMA Strikeforce at the Rose Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Strikeforce 41: Luke Rockhold retains Middleweight title against Kennedy

Luke Rockhold retained the Strikeforce Middleweight Title clearly outpointing Tim Kennedy in the main event from Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. Strikeforce newcomer Nate Marquardt beat previously unbeaten Tyron Woodley (10-1) in an impressive fourth-round stoppage for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Title in the co-main event.

Rockhold (10-1) earned his second defense of the 185-pound title by outworking the challenger, earning a unanimous decision after five hard-fought rounds. Rockhold had the better striking and grappling and was able to control Kennedy (14-4) in most areas throughout a fight scored 49-46 by the three cageside scorers. Rockhold remains undefeated in Strikeforce.

Nate Marquardt is presented with the belt. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME.

After a 16-month layoff, Marquardt (32-10-2) made a loud statement about his return with a brutal knockout win over Woodley at 1:39 in the fourth round of an exciting and fast-paced slugfest.

In other fights, Roger Gracie (4-1), who fought for the first time in his MMA career in the middleweight division, won a three-round decision over veteran Keith Jardine (17-11-2) and middleweight Lorenz Larkin (13-0, 1 NC) remained undefeated with an impressive three-round decision over Robbie Lawler (19-9, 1 NC).

In the preliminary fight, hometown hero Pat Healy (30-17) won a three-round unanimous decision over Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1) in a welterweight bout; Ryan Couture (5-1) son of MMA legend Randy Couture, took a three-round split decision over Joe Duarte (10-3) by the scores of 29-28 twice and 28-29 in a welterweight bout; Jorge Masvidal (23-7) recorded a three-round split decision over Justin Wilcox (11-5, 1 NC) by the scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29 in a welterweight scrap; and Jordan Mein (25-8) earned a three-round decision over Tyler Stinson (23-9) in a welterweight match. On the non-televised undercard, Jason High (16-3) impressively submitted Nate Moore (7-3) in an exciting fight to begin the night with a 26-second finish in round one with a guillotine choke.

Tags: Luke Rockhold Nate Marquardt Strikeforce 41 Strikeforce-Luke Rockhold Vs Tim Kennedy Tim Kennedy Tyron Woodley

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