Tarec Saffiedine took one step closer to top contender status in the Strikeforce welterweight division with a unanimous decision victory over the hard-hitting Roger Bowling with scores of 30-27 across the board.
Bowling used his jab early to set up some big shots to the body to start the bout, but the technical striking of Saffiedine countered the power of Bowling as the round wore on. Saffiedine worked his jab and landed stinging leg kicks to keep Bowling off balance while fighting off takedown attempts from the powerful striker. Each time that Bowling managed to close distance, Saffiedine made him pay with the plum clinch, landing stiff knees up the middle.
Saffiedine came out quickly in the second, turning up the pressure and backing Bowling up into the cage. Bowling continued to land to the body with punches while mixing in kicks but still could not manage to secure the takedown that he was looking for. A big exchange in the pocket saw both fighters score as time wound down on the second stanza.
An exchange of kicks started the final round, but again it was the knees of Saffiedine that did damage up the middle. Bowling continued to throw with power but the counter game of Saffiedine proved to be more effective as he technically picked his opponent apart. A late takedown attempt from Bowling resulted in him giving up top position as Saffiedine shrugged it off and moved to the back looking for a late choke.
Time would run out on the choke as the bell sounded and the judges turned in their scorecards. When the announcement was read, it was Tarec Saffiedine (13-3 MMA, 6-1 SF) extending his win streak to three while moving one step closer to a possible title shot.