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Injuries and Additions Reshapes the Strikeforce January Card

| November 30, 2012 | 5:52 am | Reply

StrikeforceThe rumored to be last Strikeforce event once titled Strikeforce: Champions has seen its fight card rearranged and renamed to Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. What was originally supposed to have three title fights now only has one and with a month and a half remaining until the January 12th fight day, you might want to keep your fingers crossed.

The lone title fight is in the welterweight division as Nate Marquardt will make his first title defense against Tarec Saffiedine. Marquardt won the title in his Strikeforce debut by defeating Tyron Woodley via 4th round knockout. The remaining title fight will now serve as the Strikeforce: Champions main event.

Champions Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold were scheduled to defend their titles but injuries previously sustained have yet to heal and thus the two are unable to fight. That left Lightweight Pat Healy and middleweight Lorenz Larkin without a title shot or an opponent. The two will remain on the Strikeforce: Champions card and have been paired up against tough opponents, but unfortunately it will not be for a title.

Pat Healy (28-16) is riding a five winning streak and has won eight of his last nine bouts. His lone defeat was against former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson back in 2010. Healy will now be looking to continue his streak against Jorge Masvidal who is coming off a decision win against Justin Wilcox back in July. Prior to that win Masvidal had fought Melendez for the title, losing via unanimous decision.

Lorenz Larkin (13-0, 1nc) has made a successful move down to middleweight after previously fighting at light heavyweight. He’ll be facing stiff competition in the former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza for his replacement at Strikeforce: champions. Souza lost his belt to the current champion Rockhold and a win over the former champion would further solidify Larkin as a threat to Rockhold’s belt. Who knows if he’ll ever get a shot at it.

In the night’s co-main event will be heavyweight grand prix winner, Daniel Cormier taking on the little known Dion Staring. Cormier won’t be defending his Grand Prix belt but if you wanted to reach one could say he helps make the Strikeforce card “champions”.

Recent additions to the card include two light heavyweight bouts (Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle and Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith), some lightweight fights (Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons, Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins, Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo) and a middleweight bout (Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith). A heavyweight bout between the heavyweight Grand Prix runner-up Josh Barnett and Nandor Guelmino is also rumored to be on the Strikeforce: Champions card but the fight has yet to become official.

Current / rumored Strikeforce: Champions Fight Card:

170 lbs. Title Bout: Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine

265 lbs.: Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring

205 lbs.: Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle

185 lbs.: Ronaldo Souza vs. Lorenz Larkin

155 lbs.: Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons

155 lbs.: Pat Healy vs. Jorge Masvidal

265 lbs.: Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino

205 lbs.: Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith

155 lbs.: Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins

185 lbs.: Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith

155 lbs.: Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo

Strikeforce: Champions is scheduled to take place on January 12th from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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Category: Featured, MMA, News, Strikeforce

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