Luke Rockhold dictated the pace and effectively neutralized the takedown game of Tim Kennedy to retain his title by unanimous decision.
Rockhold established the pace early, using his reach and length to keep Kennedy at bay. Rockhold was effective inside the clinch as well, utilizing knees up the middle as the round wore on.
Kennedy finally was able to get the fight to the mat, circling off the cage and elevating the champion and slamming him to the canvas. Rockhold was never in any danger and was able to get back to his feet to close out the opening round.
The champion used his kicks to start the second, fighting off a Kennedy takedown before transitioning to the back of the challenger. Kennedy was able to fend off the submission attempt and get back to his feet, but had no answer for the pace of Rockhold as round two wore on.
The third round saw Rockhold get warned for grabbing the cage as Kennedy looked to take the fight to the canvas. After a break for an illegal blow to the groin by Kennedy, the challenger started to get to work with effective leg kicks, pushing the pace to the bell.
Rockhold came out in the fourth and dropped Kennedy with a flush right hook. He quickly moved to full mount but was unable to secure Kennedy on the mat.
A back-and-forth final round saw both fighters battle to the bell, but in the end it was the champion that would be awarded the unanimous decision victory.
With scores of 49-46 across the board, Luke Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF) retains his Strikeforce middleweight crown.