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Roger Gracie to Debut at Middleweight Against Keith Jardine

Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout Roger Gracie will be making his middleweight debut in Strikeforce against MMA veteran Keith Jardine.

MMAFighting first reported the match up, which is likely to take place at a currently unscheduled Strikeforce event in July; rumors place the bout in Portland, Oregon on the fourteenth.

Considered to be one of the world’s best grapplers, Gracie (4-1) suffered his first loss in mixed martial arts competition in September of last year, when Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal knocked him out in one round at Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov. Prior to that, the thirty year old had submitted all of his MMA opponents. This bout against Jardine will be his first contested at 185lbs.

Seasoned MMA competitor Keith Jardine (17-10-2) found his way into Strikeforce after suffering a five-fight losing streak that saw him cut from the UFC. The Dean of Mean put together couple of wins before taking a short-notice fight against Gegard Mousasi in the promotion. A draw in that effort led (somewhat confusingly) into a title shot against Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold, which Jardine lost by first-round TKO. That was his most recent appearance and it came in early January.

Rockhold is expected to defend his title against Tim Kennedy at the event. Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley are also likely to dispute the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title on the card.


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