Strikeforce Wrap up
Strikeforce held its final event this past saturday January the 12th. The event was bitter sweet. It was sweet to see some of Strikeforces top athletes compete and showcase there skills, in front of a boisterous crowd. It was sweet to see a new champion crowned in the welterweight division, but it was also bitter in knowing that there will never be another Strikeforce event ever.
Daniel Cormier & Josh Barnett
Kimurawear went 4 for 5 with its main card pics. Not to shabby but the two heavyweight bouts weren't really up for discussion as to who the winner would be. Cormier and Barnett easily dispatched there over matched opponents and ended there Strikeforce careers with victories. Cormier will next fight in the UFC, possibly against Frank MIr, who he was supposed to fight on this card. Then theres the WarMaster. The outspoken Barnett has a rocky relationship with the Zuffa brass, which makes his future uncertain. Should he be in the UFC fighting the best heavyweights in the world? Yes. Will he? Who knows. Dana's ego doesn't always play nice, perhaps its time for Lorenzo to step in for those negotiations.
The upset of the night was the main event as Tarec Saffiedine battered Nate Marquardt to become the first Belgian MMA champion in a distinguished promotion. Saffiedine used his superior technique and speed to out strike the UFC veteran, and cruised to a unanimous decision after 5 rounds. Marquardt will need plenty of ice and some bed rest for a few days, as his lead leg looked like something out of a horror movie by the end of the night. Does Saffiedine get an immediate title shot at the winner of GSP and Diaz? Perhaps. He is a dangerous match up for both fighters, and after he's last performance he looks ready. Where does Nate the Great go? To the UFC no doubt. He hit a road block and will be back for sure. He is still a powerful beast at welterweight and will a tough matchup for anyone in the UFCs top 10.
After taking a year off, Mousasi didn't miss a beat and was able to dispatch Mike Kyle with ease. Once the fight was on the ground, in typical Mike Kyle fashion he was a fish out of water, and Gegard was able to sink in the choke. It perplexes me as to why Mike Kyle cant develop a ground game, while training at one of the best camps in the world. Such an athlete, such a natural fighter, and now retired. I guess its for the best. Mousasi, will enter the UFC with a lot of momentum, and with his skill set could contend for the title with a only one or two wins. The Jon Jones riddle may be his to figure out, and his striking could see jones take someone to the mats for the first time in a while.
Jacare was way to much for Ed Herman in the opening bout on Showtime. Hermans herky-jerky stand up didn't offer much for Souza as he took the wrestler down early and was able to impose his will on the ultimate fighter alumni. Ronaldo is an amazing athlete with an amazing skill set that will see him steam roll many of the UFCs top middleweights. The problem arises when you get to the top of the division, where the greatest fighter in the world resides. Anderson Silva is a fellow country man, friend and training partner. It has already been stated that the two will not fight. Its good for Anderson in a way. Souza would be a very dangerous opponent. Not to say Anderson couldn't dazzle and defeat Jacare, but there are few challengers at middleweight who can actually contend with Anderson.
Strikeforce is dead, and Zuffa can add another name to there tombstone of defunct promotions. Is it good for MMA? Is it bad for MMA? Yes and No. Its bad that the Strikeforce product is no more. It was a high quality product with world class fighters putting on world class fights. But Strikeforces achilles heel has always been its lock of depth in any division and having a hard time match making for titles and such. With the merger there will be some great match ups in the UFC and each division is going to get a few fighters that could be UFC champions down the road. Stay tuned as I think I might have to write a blog about that.