Strikeforce had a decent run, but like many failed MMA promotions, they just couldn’t figure out a way to become a lasting part of the sport.
Here are my predictions for the Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine fight card (which will be the last event the promotion holds) set for Jan. 12, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Saffiedine has been pretty successful fighting under the Strikeforce banner, winning six of his seven fights in the promotion. However, he’ll be in for a serious test when he faces Nate on Jan. 12. Marquardt put on one of the best performances of his MMA career during his last outing against Tyron Woodley, handing the then undefeated fighter his first professional loss, knocking him out during the fourth round of their encounter. It’s really hard to see anyone beating Marquardt when he fights like he did against Woodley, and I expect another similar performance on Saturday.
Prediction: Marquardt wins via decision.
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
2012 was an excellent year for Cormier, as he established himself as one of the top heavyweights in MMA. “DC” will be a huge favorite going into his fight against Staring, and he should be able to overwhelm the Dutchman with his wrestling. With training partners like Alistair Overeem, Staring knows what it feels like to be inside the cage with one of the best heavyweights in the world. He should be able to make it a competitive fight if he’s able to keep the fight standing, but it’s hard to see that happening for 15 minutes.
Prediction: Cormier wins via TKO.
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
Things didn’t go too well for Barnett during his last outing against Cormier, and he’ll try to get back on the winning side of things when he faces Guelmino at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. Guelmino is a solid heavyweight, but Barnett is a really tough matchup for him. The Austrian’s submissions are his most dangerous weapons, but it’s hard to see anyone tapping out Barnett. “The Warmaster” should be able to control the action wherever the fight takes place, and eventually put Guelmino away.
Prediction: Barnett wins via TKO.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle
Mousasi is one of the top light-heavyweights in Strikeforce, and Kyle can be a handful for anyone when 100 percent focused on fighting. Both men are solid in the striking department, but Mousasi is the technically superior striker. Gegard should also have the advantage on the ground, which makes this a good matchup for him. However, he’ll have to keep his hands up throughout the bout, as one good shot from Kyle is more than enough to end any fight.
Prediction: Mousasi wins via decision.
Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza
This is a very interesting matchup between two skilled Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Herman is a solid grappler, but Souza is a world-class ground specialist. “Jacare” should be able to control Herman with his grappling, and add another victory to his resume.
Prediction: Souza wins via submission.
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Roger Gracie defeats Anthony Smith
Tim Kennedy defeats Trevor Smith
Ryan Couture defeats K.J. Noons
Adriano Martins defeats Jorge Gurgel
Estevan Payan defeats Michael Bravo