The final Strikeforce event will be upon us on Saturday night as Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt will look to make history as the final Strikeforce welterweight champion.
This card is probably receiving more attention because it’s the final Strikeforce event, but also because some of the fighters on this card are vying for roster spots in the UFC. There are some great things to be on the lookout for on Saturday night. Check it:
How will Nate Marquardt look in his second fight as a welterweight and could he be a legitimate threat against Georges St. Pierre?
Marquardt will be defending his title for the first time since becoming champion by defeating Tyron Woodley in his last outing, but this will also be just his second fight as a welterweight. He’ll be taking on Tarec Saffiedine who is a very tough opponent to look good against and has never been finished in his is MMA career. It’ll be interesting to see how Marquardt looks in the matchup and where he’ll stand if he’s able to get a win over Saffidine. UFC President Dana White has already indicated that Marquardt will be returning to the UFC after this fight. Marquardt has indicated that he would have no problem fighting Georges St. Pierre with whom he has trained with in the past if the opportunity came about. If he looks solid against Saffiedine, would you consider him a legitimate threat in the UFC welterweight division or to Georges St. Pierre?
Will Josh Barnett receive a UFC invite if he’s victorious on Saturday night?
This is the question I want as answer to the most. Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion who has always had a rocky relationship with the UFC/Dana White. He’s a solid test for any top heavyweight out there and would certainly add depth to the division. He has some charisma due to his professional wrestling background, and although he’s 35 years old hasn’t taken an obscene amount of damage in his MMA career. Dana White has been non-committal regarding Barnett returning to the UFC, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens after Saturday if Barnett wins impressively.
What is the deal with Gegard Mousasi after Saturday night?
Mousasi hasn’t looked good at all in my opinion in his last few fights against relatively mediocre competition. I’m sure it’s expected that he will join the UFC roster after Saturday night, but exactly where he’ll be in the pecking order remains to be seen. There are fans and media that swear that Mousasi is a top ten light heavyweight which I’m not buying at the moment until he defeats a legitimate top ten opponent. He’ll obviously have that opportunity in the UFC, but I still contend that he should go back to the middleweight division where he has the best opportunity to become champion. I just don’t see him being able to defeat any UFC light heavyweight with good takedowns and submission defense (see the King Mo fight where I predicted Mousasi would lose and others railed against the prediction).
Will Pat Healy be invited to join the UFC lightweight division with a win on Saturday night?
I think Healy is criminally underrated. It’s true that his overall MMA record isn’t great at (28-16), but that’s because he was fighting guys that were much larger than him early in his career. He holds wins over UFC veterans Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, and Carlos Condit! He’s (10-3) dating back to 2008 and would certainly be a solid addition to the UFC lightweight division. He’ll be taking on relatively unknown and undefeated Kurt Holobaugh on Saturday which is probably a lose-lose situation because the bout is on short notice after his original opponent pulled out of the bout. Healy deserves the opportunity with a win in my opinion.
Where does a win over Ed Herman place Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the UFC?
“Jacare” will be taking on UFC veteran Ed Herman(on short notice) on Saturday night. Herman is a solid fighter but isn’t considered to be a top ten middleweight. “Jacare” has beaten the likes of Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Derek Brunson, Matt Lindland, and is thought to be one of the better middleweights in the world. He’s a former Strikeforce champion losing his title in a close decision loss to Luke Rockhold who is considered to be at or near top ten status. He’ll add needed depth in the middleweight division. Who would you like to see him face in the UFC if he gets past Herman on Saturday night?
Be sure to make ProMMAnow (www.prommanow.com) your home for Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine coverage on Saturday night.