When Staff Sgt. Tim Kennedy steps into the Strikeforce cage March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, he won’t be facing Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a highly anticipated rubber match.
Instead, Kennedy, a Special Forces soldier who now serves in the Texas Army National Guard, will fight Luke Rockhold, a 26-year-old from San Jose, Calif., who has a 7-1 record.
Kennedy’s record is 12-3 and the mixed-martial arts fight will be his fifth with Strikeforce and his first since August, when he and Ronaldo Souza went five rounds for the Strikeforce middleweight championship. Souza won by unanimous decision.
When Army Times talked to Kennedy in early January, he said he welcomed a chance to fight Miller again. The fighters had split their two previous meetings.
“I think that’s a fight a lot of people would want to see,” Kennedy said at the time.
Rockhold has won his last six fights, all in the first round. He was scheduled to fight last October but withdrew after injuring a shoulder in training.
The news about Kennedy’s new opponent came as Strikeforce announced on Monday the lineup for the March 5 event at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The main card will feature a title fight between Dan Henderson, who has won four MMA world championships, and Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael Cavalcante.
The event will air live on Showtime at 10 p.m. EST.