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Rockhold decisions Kennedy to retain title – Play by Play

Luke Rockhold (10-1) completes his seond title defense of the Strikeforce middleweight title against the very tough Tim Kennedy (14-4) in Portland, Oregon. Here is how the night of action played out.

Round One:
Kennedy throws a left straight quickly that’s deflected. Headkick blocked for Kennedy. Rockhold throws some knees from a clinch. Rockhold drives it to the cage. short elbow lands from Kennedy. Rockhold gets the better of an exchange and chases down Kennedy recklessly, but he gets caught by double-leg in chase and slammed to the canvas by Kennedy. Rockhold hip escapes to half guard from side mount. After some work Kennedy gets the champs back. Champ slips out and round ends.

Round Two:
Right head kick lands for Rockhold. Kennedy tries to get the takedown and Rockhold able to spin and take the back. Kennedy able to get it standing. straight right lands off a a leg kick for Rockhold. Big right hook lands on Kennedy. Left liver kick lands for Rockhold. Right  cross lands to the head for Kennedy.  Head kick lands for Rockhold. Kennedy eating some jabs after attempting a takedown. No significant lands in exchanges for last 20 seconds of the round.

Round Three:
Leg kick to the body for Rockhold. Kennedy shoots and unable to get it to the ground. Kennedy attempts a body lock. Rockhold gets warned for fence grabbing as well as Kennedy for a “low shot.” Rockhold lands a big right hook. Kennedy lands a head kick. Champ walks through and attempts some leaping punches that are missed. Push kick lands for Rockhold. Kennedy shoots again and finally drags Rockhold down and gets into the guard. Back taken by Kennedy, and Rockhold able to slip up. Rockhold rushes forward in last 10 seconds, but unable to catch the moving Kennedy.

Round Four:
Rockhold comes out aggressive, changing stances. Kennedy shoots and wide sprawl stops it. Body shot lands for Rockhold. Big body kick throws Kennedy to the fence. Body shot lands again for Luke. Blistering right hook drops Kennedy and Rockhold is all over him from the top. Kennedy able to survive, pulling a guillotine attempt. Rockhold slips away. Kennedy quickly goes for the takedown again. Kennedy able to get the back in the attempt again, but unable to do anything as the round ends.

Round Five:
Head kick blocked by Rockhold. Short right hook and head kick lands for the champ. Kennedy shoots and Rockhold sprawls. Kennedy quickly follows up with a drive to the fence. Rockhold easily escapes. Straight left lands to the face of Kennedy. Another takedown attempt fails for Kennedy. Switches to single and gets Rockhold down briefly. Rockhold gets his own takedown and Kennedy gets it standing. Kennedy looks to clinch and Rockhold does instead and gets it to the fence. Fight ends.

Official: Luke Rockhold defeats Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

The champ has not only earned his second straight title defense, but has now completed his ninth straight victory in the sport. Taking out top names such as former champ Ronaldo Souza, Keith Jardine, and now Tim Kennedy.

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